Lagos-Ibadan Road: We Are Ready To Meet Bi-Courtney In Court – FG

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Abuja
— The Federal Government, yesterday, said it was ready to meet Bi-Courtney
Consortium whose  concession of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was terminated
on Monday in court if the company resorts to legal action to challenge the
termination.
The
Minister of Works, Chief Mike Onolememen, who stated this said the Federal
Government observed the rules of disengagement as stated in the agreement
between it and the consortium, adding that the Federal Government had
repeatedly drawn Bi-Courtney’s attention to remedy the situation to no avail.

The
minister said: “That concession was governed by law, the agreement is the
governing instrument for that concession. And the obligations of the parties
were well spelt out in that agreement and at every point in time, every party
was in the know as to what it was doing, either in conformity with the
obligation in the agreement or in breach of those obligations.

“As
a party, the government at a time had to address a letter to Bi-Courtney
detailing the serial breaches it had committed on that particular concession
and inviting the company to remedy those breaches given the days of grace as
provided for in the agreement, failing which government did not have to invite
them again to another meeting to terminate it.
“It
is one of the rights given to government as a guarantor in the concession to
terminate when certain things go wrong in the section prescribed in the
agreement. And that is precisely what government did. So they are free to go to
court and government will meet them in the law court.”
On RCC
On
the fears being expressed about RCC’s capability to handle the job, Onolememen
said: “RCC is one of the contractors in the category that we are comfortable
with. It is RCC that did most of the very important roads in this country that
have continued to provide easy movement for people.
“As
we speak they are engaged on the Benin-Ore-Sagamu dualisation and they are
doing very well there. They are also on the Abuja-Lokoja dualisation project on
Section II and they are in various parts of the country even in the Niger
Delta.
“I
perceive that what people may be referring to is consequent on the alignment.
For example, if you move from Abuja to Lokoja, you will see pockets of FADAMA
drainages where some water just sieve from the country. One of the problems I
had to deal with as minister was to redo that entire alignment in terms of
detailed designs and specifications.
“Because
abinitio when that particular contract was awarded in 2006, it was awarded just
like any other road. Nobody took into cognisance the peculiarities of that
particular alignment, in fact it was one of the reasons I had to create a new
department of geotechnic, material and control.”
And
they have been on that alignment to identify chainages with that problem and we
have come up with a new specification to guide the construction of that work.
Those
chainages the reconstruction had since commenced. But as a contractor we have
no doubt in our minds that RCC ia a good contractor and confident they will do
the work well.”
Source: Vanguard

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