–Faults appointment of lawyer as Works commissioner
A seasoned engineer and member of council regulating Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, Kingsley Onwubiko has traced the reason why roads built or reconstructed by the present Uzodinma led administration fail within few months after construction.
In an exclusive interview with Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper in Owerri yesterday, Onwubiko said he is not surprised at the sad development knowing that the present commissioner for works, Barr Ralph Nwosu can’t give what he has not.He described his appointment as an abaration, adding that if for any reason Uzodinma needed to compensate those that worked for his emergence of his lone time friends, he shouldn’t have appointed a lawyer into such sensitive position that has to do with safety and well-being of Imo people.
He disclosed that the commissioner as a non-professional, is only interested in agreement with contractors and how to save money for the governor, with less priority on durability of projects which ordinarily every trained engineer appointed into such position should be concerned about.
He added that as long as contractors are paid less for projects, in attempt to deliver and maximize profit, they use substandard materials which is the problem we are facing in Imo.”For instance, if you pay a contractor less and he goes of 6 percent bitumen, what ill you expect?, Onwubiko buried.
He said,”There is no doubt Government delights in what I call rub and shine engineering approach.They carry out projects without looking at integrity and procurement process of such projects which is the reason all of such projects are failing.As long as government adopts this approach, Imo will continue to suffer and public fund filtered away like it never matters”.
Onwubiko who was recently elevated to a fellow of Nigeria institution of Environmental Engineers,NIEE condemned the concentration of projects in Owerri municipality.According to him, he sees no other reason for this apart from government penchant for massaging it’s ego and creating impression that so much projects are ongoing in in Imo when in actual sense such substandard projects are only concentrated in Owerri.
He recalled how roads built,for which president Muhammadu Buhari came to Imo to commission failed shortly after the president left.”Take a drive to Aba and Nekede roads and see things for your self.As a professional, we have maintained that as long as you don’t elevate the affected areas before ashalting, the projects will containue to fail”.
The FUTO graduate of Civil Engineering maintained that since Nwosu is not an Engineer, he must have failed to tell the governor that the timing for some of these projects is wrong.He has also failed to tell the governor that all the projects must not be concentrated in Owerri.Governence is when you extend dividends of democracy to other places, especially the rural areas.Under governor Ikedi Ohakim, we saw projects in other places.Under governor Emeka Ihedioha,projects were scattered every where.Today, you can only see Uzodinma demolishing and reconstructing already built projects without building new ones”.
Onwubiko regretted that the government of Uzodinma refused to implement their recommendation on the tunnels at Port Harcourt, Owerri, fully.”My committee recommended that they be destroyed.We recommended Interchange to allow flow of traffic but the government only demolished it and provided normal route there to impress Imo people.The total work done there is not up to 1 kilometer.Why the noise?