The Minister of Works, David Umahi, says he will review the increase in the cost of federal road contracts across Nigeria.
Umahi made the declaration on Thursday while inspecting the. Mkporo (Ebonyi)/Ohafia/Abiriba (Abia) federal roads, insisting that such a review was not a probe.
The minister said the move was to enable him to ascertain the need for such augmentations, to establish whether they were merited or not.
“I will therefore be meeting with regional directors in the ministry alongside my team of consultants.
“I want to effectively provide answers when a road that was awarded at N2 billion for instance, would presently be executed at N10 billion.
“I want to knowledgeably answer such questions to President Bola Tinubu, the National Assembly, Press and the Public,” he said.
He noted that even when the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) has approved such augmentation, the knowledge for such increment was still necessary.
“I am not against augmentations but will bring down the costs when such augmentations are not necessary.
“The House of Representatives recently met me on why the Abuja/Kaduna/Zaria/Kano road awarded at N155 billion should now coast N655 billion.
“I partly know the reason for the increment but want to be fully aware to explain more technically to the House,” he said.
Umahi expressed disappointment over the extent of work done on the Mkporo/ Ohafia/Abriba road, noting that the project would be reviewed.
“This project was awarded since 2012 as no road project should last more than four years.
“The contractor will be referred to the ministry’s legal department and we would check the amount he has collected against the extent of work done.
“The number of federal roads in Ebonyi are not up to those in other parts of the country, but contractors handling such roads, however, have done well,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other roads inspected by the minister and his team included the Abakaliki/Afikpo, Amasiri/Nguzu-Edda/Ohafia federal roads, among others.