….as community berates mischief-makers
Following series of publications by some online newspapers, alleging substandard execution of the 3.05km internal roads in Ikpide-Irri in Isoko South LGA, Delta State, by the contracting firm, a painstaking investigation by worldtopnewsng.com team, has revealed a sharp disparity between the contents of some of those publications and the reality on ground.
Recall that a group with the name “Isoko Monitoring Group” had in a petition to the State Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, titled “Construction of Ikpide-Irri township road: Appeal for review of contract scope and revocation/re-award of contract to a competent contractor”, alleged that the road project was not being done to specification. This outburst attracted the attention of the state Commissioner for Works, Engr. James Auguyi, who sometime ago embarked on an inspection tour of the project. From that time till date, there have been series of publication from the same medium with various shades of the allegation of poor execution of the job which is still ongoing.
Further investigation by worldtopnewsng.com, have revealed that contrary to what is been speculated, the job is been executed in total compliance with every part of the Bill Of Quantity (BOQ). A source in the Ministry of Works who spoke to this Reporter at the Construction site, said the Ministry has for the past twelve months routinely visited the site almost on monthly bases and that its team of engineers had severally certified every stage of work done.
He said, “When you called me on the phone, I told you to be here to witness our inspection. Today we are here again to see how far the job have gone and to validate what has been done so far. Sometimes when I read what is been peddled in the media, I begin to wonder if they are talking about this job or there is another Ikpide-Irri somewhere. To the best of my knowledge, our ministry have never had any problem with this project except one of the culverts that collapsed and has long been fixed”, the Ministry’s top official who preferred anonymity said.
Speaking further on the collapse of the culvert, the Community Liason Officer (CLO) of the project, Mr. Favour Udezi said the culvert collapse not because the job was poor but because some of the inhabitants of the community didn’t follow the construction firm’s instructions and that the said culvert was a temporary one.
“Yes, I agree with you that a culvert collapsed. That was one among several culverts that were constructed. The cause is simple. After casting it, we announced to the people in the community that the culvert must be left to dry for a period of 21 to 28 days. We also warned that if this instruction wasn’t adhered to, the culvert could collapse and that was exactly what happened. The thing was put into use before it was ready.
“Aside from that, to certify that the case was totally exceptional, the Ministry then carried out series of hammer tests on every other culverts built in the road. Their engineers were satisfied that the work would stand the test of time”, he said
“Again let me add that the contractor has been very magnanimous. If you take a look at the BOQ, you will realize that the Ministry specified Ring Culvert. Those familiar with road construction but you will agree with me that in a terrain like this, Box culvert is more suitable and equally more expensive. We have to profusely appeal to the contractor to make Box Culvert and that is what we have here today. Apart from those mischief-makers, I am challenging anyone who is writing rubbish in the social media to come here to see how fantastic this work is”.
A walk round the road spanning over 12 streets, revealed that the portions constructed so far are all in good shape. There was no visible trace of any failed portion while serious work was still ongoing in other parts.
Speaking also to this reporter, the Chairman of the Community, Mr. Romanus Agbaga, described those behind the negative reports about the road execution as blackmailers whose motive is already known to the community.
“We are all aware that a certain Amour Udemude is the brain behind all these negative reports. This boy has sadly become a clog in the wheel of progress in this town. Thank God you are here and can see for yourself. All the bad stories he has been writing are just to blackmail our son who brought this development to part away with some money. We will never allow this to happen.
“We have written to the Governor to appreciate him for this project. We also stated expressly that we are satisfied with the job done so far. Our sons who are well knowledgeable about road construction have also said the job done so far is laudable. As we appeal for more amenities from the government, I wish to on behalf of the entire community disassociate ourselves from the shenanigans of Udemude and consequently pass a vote of confidence on the contractor and job done”, he concluded.
When contacted for comment, Mr. Armour Udemude did not answer his calls nor replied to the numerous text messages sent to his MTN line.