114 Road Commissioning: Contractor ‘Forced’ Back On Site Over Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate Bypass As Condemnation Trails Contractor, Council
-Want Governor to sanction erring officials
-Road was cut for repair and not damaged, says contractor
-Assembly summons contractor.
Kunle Adelabu with Ifeoluwa Ajenifuja and Boluwatife Hassan
Mixed reactions that trails the commissioning of the Federal Low-cost Housing Estate bye-pas to Itoikin road, Ikorodu has degenerated into total condemnation of the Ikorodu North Sole Administrator, Mrs Shukurat Okeowo and DHV Nigeria Limited, the contractor that handled the project.
The poorly handled road construction was among the 114 roads commissioned across the 20 Local Government and 37 Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State between Saturday, September 17 and Friday, September 23, 2016.
Safe for Ijede residents’ disappointment over the failure of Breeve Global Resources to complete May Flower Circle road in Ijede, it was praises and commendations for the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode at the other ten commissioning locations in Ikorodu division for bringing governance closer to the people.
The other location where the residents showed their disappointment and anger was the Federal Low-cost Housing Estate bye-pass to Itoikin road in Ikorodu North LCDA where youths of the area almost prevented the commissioning of the road due to what they described as shoddy and poor job execution.
It took the intervention of the council Information Officer and other concerned individuals for the youths to agree that they would petition the Governor and copied the Ikorodu North LCDA Sole Administrator, Mrs Shukurat Okeowo and the Council Engineer.
But the position of the Sole Administrator almost marred the agreement with the youths.
The Sole Administrator had in the presence of our reporter, confronted and told one of the community youth leader that came to the commissioning venue before the programme started to call her attention to the poor job done by the contractor, that she has approved the job and there is nothing they could do.
Some residents who spoke with our reporter revealed that the Site Engineer had left the site for over three months due to reasons unknown to them and since then, the project has been marred in uncertainties.
THE IMPACT also gathered that the residents of the area have been protesting the shoddy job but the fact that the husband of the Sole Administrator was a former Chairman of the Federal Low-cost Housing Community Development Association (CDA) doused the tension occasioned by the poor job execution.
This, we gathered, made the youths took up the challenge since the estate’s elders are morally burdened.
One of the youth leaders in the Estate who spoke with THE IMPACT said, “The fault is squarely on the residents because those in position of authority, especially the CDA excos kept mute despite knowing that the contractor has been doing very unprofessional job. That was even the reason we took up the challenge”
“If they have lent their voices, the Governor and other supervisory bodies would have heard us and stopped the project. But they kept quiet and did not even want us to talk and today, the road has been commissioned and we are back to square one. As a community, we have failed because the Governor told us to take charge of public facilities”
In an interview with reporters after the commissioning, the Sole Administrator, Mrs Shukurat Okeowo had gave the contractor over 95% when asked to rate the work done.
“I’ll rate him 95% because he has done a very good and excellent job even though he was not able to complete the project within the stipulated time, but they did an excellent job here” said Mrs Okeowo.
In a separate interview with the contractor, when asked to respond to the residents complaints on the poor execution of the project, he stated that the residents are happy with the level of work done. “Well, I don’t understand that but as we can see, the residents are happy with our work even though their expectations were for us to finish it before the stipulated time but with God we have been able to complete it today”
THE IMPACT which has been monitoring the construction of the twelve roads in Ikorodu Division and giving up to date reports on its social media platforms and monthly publications reported the inability of contractor to finish the project a day to the commissioning.
We gathered that against all advice, the Sole Administrator of Ikorodu North LCDA insisted on going ahead with the commissioning. Even when the contractor was not prepared to hand-over the project yet.
It was also gathered that it was due to the pressure mounted on the contractor that made him and his team to work day and night three days to the commissioning in order to deliver the road for the commissioning.
Another reason learnt accounted for the shoddy job done on the road is the alleged Sole administrator’s arrogance and one-man show.
It was alleged that the Sole Administrator upon resuming in office failed to carry predecessors, especially the immediate past Executive Secretary that awarded the contract along like other Sole Administrators did. This, we also gathered, accounted for the reason why none of the past council administrators of Ikorodu North LCDA attended the commissioning.
THE IMPACT also gathered that the officials of the State Government were disappointed at the work done by the contractor.
An official who came for the road inspection on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, and who did not want his name in print stated, “There is nothing to write about at all and there is no way the government would accept this from the contractor. If we want things to move forward in Lagos State, this contractor should be arrested and the money paid for the job retrieved and I can assure that the Governor will not hesitate to do the needful”
Some of the residents who spoke with our reporter on Monday, September26, 2016, condemned and cursed those responsible for the poor construction of the road.
In his own reaction, Mr Gbenga, a residents said, “The road is very bad and everybody is complaining. The government should help us in ensuring that the road is professional rebuild.
Another resident, Mr Moshood Ipaye, a mechanic in the area stated, “This road is of no benefit at all since it is poorly executed. This is not good at all and there is no difference to when we do not have the road. This is a cursed and God forsaking project done by the contractor because, what can you call a project that was commissioned recently and already like this? The generator brought by the contractor only worked once and since then, it has not been working”
Mr Salau Akeem put the blame on the supervisors, “This is a very poor job. If the supervisors had done their duties very well, the road would not have been commissioned in the first place”
Ikorodu residents also reacted on the social media when THE IMPACT also reported and posted pictures of the cracked portions and other parts of the road washed away by the early morning rainfall.
Mr Oheiremi Obadan while responding stated, “This is absurd! Sheer effrontery!!! grave criminality on the part of the contractor and the supervising ministry… Haba!!! Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor, attention must be drawn to this shadiness that have been commissioned in his name….”
Aderoju Ladega in her own reaction stated, “This is indeed a fraudulent act. The Contractor and Sole Administrator of Ikorodu North LCDA need to be sanctioned a great deal, THE IMPACT had done well. Not all Media would do this. Keep it going.”
Olajire Gbolu in his own comment simply stated, “This is brazen”
Alhaji Olalekan Murisiku, former Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ikorodu North LCDA Chapter, who contributed from Saudi Arabia, in his own reaction stated, “Kunle, kudos to you.
The Contractor was not only fraudulent but unprofessional, wicked and arrogant. I once interviewed him on his ability to put in place a road that would stand the test of time. His response reflected his dubious character.
“During the construction process, my findings when I visited the site made me concluded that the construction was a shoddy job even though I am not a Civil Engineer. I blame those who allowed what they would eat to becloud their faculty of thinking by awarding a contract of this magnitude to this ass that claimed to be a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Murisiku also added, “This same contractor was awarded another contract right inside the secretariat of Ikorodu North but also failed. This is ABUSE OF TAX PAYERS’ MONEY.”
Prince Sulex Rick stated, “This is ridiculous. The so called Contractor and the Sole administrator have failed in their respective responsibilities. They must be sanctioned for doing this. Kudos to Mr Adelabu Kunle for a job well done.
Aroyewun Hameed Olalekan said, “I salute the courage of the media outfit that reported this. Sincerely, the residents of the area didn’t do well. They ought to have reported the issue to the concerned authority. More so, past and present administrators are not fair to have kept mute on this. The last payment was released by the present sole administrator so no excuse. Gov.Ambode will not come to your street to fight for you. It is your duty to protect public assets put in place with the tax payers’ money. It’s a collective responsibility”
Bishop Sogo Olashunde stated, “Kudos for exposing this! Unfortunately, this is the same kind of rot that is destroying the entity called Nigeria as a whole. There are other roads needing urgent attention. The Contractor after being paid for the job, did errant nonsense and a shabby job. This Country needs deliverance!”
Otunba Olukoga M.A in his own reaction stated, “I passed through this road about 2hours ago and I was amazed to see the road that was commissioned with funfair few days back looking like this. I sent tweet to the governor to let him know that the project is substandard and cannot last more than 1month before it totally collapse and become unpassable to commuters and motorists”
Olaiya Wasiu Adekunle stated, “Nigerians are the problem of Nigeria, when government awards contract to foreign firm that will deliver a good job, people will complain about government’s insensitivity to grow local industries, now local contractor was given just a bypass that’s less than 1km, yet, see the outlook under just one week of commissioning. It’s high time people stop seeing government contract as a way of cutting their own part of the national cake. All erring personnel involved in this shoddy contract should be brought to book and be made to face the full weight of the law.”
Following the residents and public outcry, the contractor handling the road was forced back on site. When our reporter visited the site on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the workers were on site to fix the damaged road.
Attempts to reach the Sole Administrator, Mrs Shukurat Okeowo for her reaction proved abortive.
Hon. Agunbiade’s Reactions
Meanwhile, in a press release titled, “The Very New-Very Bad Road 1”, sent from the Office of the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who is equally the Ikorodu Constituency I representative, the lawmaker assured that matter is getting the attention ist needed.
“My attention has been drawn to the embarrassing state of the Federal Low-cost Housing Estate bye-pass road, in Ikorodu North LCDA., which is within my constituency.
“I thank us all for the concern shown so far and will want to assure you all that the condemnable state of the road will be addressed in the house of Assembly today (Wednesday, September 28) God willing and necessary action shall be taken thereof.
“For now, I will not want to say more, than to assure you that, as your representative in the Assembly, your disappointment, rage and queries have already been tabled and will be discussed today (Wednesday, September 28). It’s a matter of hours away” Hon Agunbiade stated.
Following the public outcry that greeted our report on the failed road, the Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, issued a statement on its twitter handle summoning the contractor, DHV, to appear before it.
The House of Assembly made this known on its Twitter handle on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
The tweet says: “Lagos Assembly calls on the contractor (DHV Nigeria) over failed Federal Low Cost Bye Pass Itokin Road, Ikorodu North LCDA.”
Contractor ‘Forced’ Back On Site
DHV Nigeria Limited, the contractor handling the Federal Low-cost Housing Estate bye-pass to Itoikin road in Ikorodu North LCDA, on Tuesday moved back on site to fix the failed road.
When our reporter visited the road on Wednesday, workers including the leader of the team were seen working to fix the damaged portions of the road.
According to the engineer, “Contrary to the public perception, the failed parts were cut out by us last Saturday (September 24) and was not washed away by rain as being rumoured by the public. We did that because we knew that it will collapsed”
“You can see that we are back on site not because of the public outcry but because we are supposed to be back and fix the road for the public good. The project would be completed in matter of days unfailingly and the road will be reopened for public use”
Another member of the team also confirmed the Lagos State House of Assembly’s invitation on Friday, September 30 when THE IMPACT went back on site to monitor the correction being made by the contractor on the controversial road.
We are also duly informed that the Governor’s Monitoring have also paid an unscheduled visit during week.
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