Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, on Friday, said there were no plans by the ministry to send the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the contractors handling the East-West Road over non-compliance.
The minister, while responding to a report which stated that the ministry was going to send the officials of the EFCC after some contractors of the East-West Road, said the report would further set back the progress of the job at the road by causing apprehension among the contractors.
He said the government would continue releasing money to the contractors to continue work on the road even as over N3 billion have been committed to the contractors.
His words: “Last Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting, we have reason to brief the press. Arising from that briefing, we have observed that some media report have not conveyed our exact expression and it becomes necessary to use this opportunity to put the record in the proper perspective.”
“I found in some publications 30 to 40 contractors of the East-West road to be sent to the EFCC. It is not correct, the East-West Road, in the first place does not have three or four contractors, and the sections are not more than five. So, that thing itself is a telling story of misapplication of information”.
Furthermore, the minister said the initial design of the road project was designed to fail, adding that it was for this reason that money have continued to be spent on the project without making any reasonable impact.
“The area in which I mentioned in the East-West Road was to state that the conceptual design and attribution of it execution to conditions of agreement suggest that the project at the initial was designed to fail and this is the reason we continue spending without being able to appreciate at what point this will end”.
He, therefore said “We did not say the contractors will be sent to the EFCC. We said that there is anomalies in the agreements and designs are being reviewed now and when the report is ready, you will see.
“We have a cordial relationship with contractors of the East-West Road and we have asked them to go to work. At present, I know we have committed a minimum of N3 billion to the contractors on the East-West Road to continue their work and as we get releases we will continue to fund within the limit of appropriation provisions.
“So, we couldn’t have been funding them to go to site, at the same time we are sending them to go and answer litigation, there is no basis for that,” he said.
They have not offended us, we have not at present found any of them culpable to the extent that we will want them penalized. So this story can only set us back by causing apprehension among the contractors”.