-It’s false – commissioner
By Martin Nwoko
An Engineer in the state and member of Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Imo State chapter, Engr. Kingsley Onwubiko has decried the outrageous cost of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s projects in the state.
He revealed that the actual cost of the Owerri /Orlu road if the said road was to be entirely scraped and reconstructed would be nothing more than N8 Billion Naira, stressing that the present administration in the state had inflated the figures without considering the economic implications to Imolites whose funds are being wasted.
Speaking on the construction of seven roundabouts recently flagged off by Governor Hope Uzodinma administration, Engr. Onwubiko stated that each of the roundabouts should cost a maximum of #20 million naira when proper structures are built on it but regrets that the newly designed roundabouts will have flat surfaces without any structure will be surrounded with traffic lights. He insisted that the total cost of the proposed structure should not be anything more than #200 million against the awarded contract cost of #3. 5 Billion naira.
He opined that the difference in the amount of the contract sum simply shows how irresponsible a government can be by wasting public funds for their own personal interest and aggrandizement.
Engr. Onwubiko said that even though the state government inflated the cost of the Owerri Orlu road contract from #8 Billion naira to #35 Billion which he said is more than four times the actual cost, the supposed contractor prefers to do road maintenance rather than construction.
He expressed disappointment and regret over the quality of job along Owerri Okigwe road where the contractor prefers to expand the shoulders so as to receive mass over laying rather than the designed construction activities.
He pointed out that Imolites are wise and cannot be pocketed the second time.
In his reaction, the commissioner for works in the state,Barr Ralph Nwosu described the allegation as baseless and unfounded, stressing that the Hope Uzodinma led administration did not inflate the cost of any project in the state.
The Commissioner pointed out that the companies handling the various road projects and the various contracts awarded to them by the state government are in the public domain.
He added that the company ‘Craneburg’ handling Owerri – Orlu road and Owerri – Okigwe road is almost doing the job free for Imo state government compared to what they charge in Lagos and Ekiti states where they are handling different projects.
Hon. Nwosu also hinted that the company handling the two major roads will be over laying from Owerri to Orlu and also from Owerri to Okigwe contrary to the claim earlier stated.