JULIUS BERGER SUSPENDS WORK ON LAGOS-SAGAMU-IBADAN EXPRESSWAY

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THE construction giant, Julius Berger Nig. Plc, has suspended work on the ongoing reconstruction of Section 1 of the Lagos-Sagamu-Ibadan Expressway project, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A NAN check reveals that the firm is planning to close down its site and relocating some equipment from the site yard near Sagamu Interchange.
It was also learnt that the company had begun downsizing of some of its workforce currently on the project.
NAN correspondents, who visited the project yard on Tuesday, were, however, denied access to the premises by the company’s Chief Security Officer (CSO).
The CSO had insisted that all enquiries must be directed to the organisation’s Head Office at Ijora.
However, some workers who spoke on condition of anonymity at the site, confirmed to NAN that the company had begun relocating some of its equipment since last week in preparation for the temporary closure.
An authoritative source at the company said some of the heavy equipment would still be left at the yard pending when they return to site.
“They (Julius Berger) have been moving some vital equipment away since last week because there is problem of funding.
“It is not necessary for them to move everything because they can lock the yard until there is money to continue with the project,’’ he said.
However, the Project Manager, Mr Wolfgang Panzer, said in an interview with NAN: “Everything is alright.’’
Contacted, Miss Susan Obi, the Public Relations Officer of Julius Berger, said the company had no problem of finance and that the site was not being closed.
Obi said that some workers on the project were being laid off because the firm was restructuring its operations.
“We have to let some workers go because you cannot keep people when there is no money to pay them.
“The company is trying to have a new face where we pay all our workers; we are restructuring, “ she told NAN.
The spokeswoman said the ongoing restructuring would be completed by mid-July.
NAN reports that Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had flagged off the reconstruction and expansion work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in July 2013.
The N167 billion project was awarded to Julius Berger and Reynolds Construction Company to repair Section 1 which spans Lagos to the Sagamu Interchange and Section II which begins from Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan.
They were given 48 months to complete the projects.
-Tribune

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