Group Petitions Okowa over substandard Project, Calls for Revocation of Road Contract

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 By Ochei Matthew, Asaba

Isoko Monitoring Group, (IMG), Delta state, has petitioned   Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over substandard road contract in Isoko community and called for the immediate revocation and re-award of the project worth N736 million, awarded to PORTPLUS Limited.

The group,made its protest in a petition titled “Construction of Ikpide-Irri Township Road: Appeal For Review of Contract Scope And Revocation/Re-Award Of Contract To A Competent Contractor.”, addressed to the state governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa and signed by its Presisent, Mr. Sebastine Agbefe, and made available to newsmen.

The petition urged the governor to as a matter of urgency and importance visit the project site for an on the spot assessment.

While expressing dissatisfaction and disappointment over the project, the community president described the incompetent manner the marine company handling the road project was going about it which necessitated the complaints raised by the people.

The group alleged that the state Ministry of Works, saddled with the responsibility of supervising the job as well as the leadership of the community have been compromised; and therefore urged the governor to immediately revoke and re-award the said contract to a competent company specialized in road construction considering the swampy terrain  peculiar of the area.

“We will start by expressing our sincere appreciation to you and the Delta State Government for awarding the Ikpide-Irri township road in Isoko South Local Government Area, captured in the 2018 budget already signed into law. We received with great joy, the news that the contract was awarded to an indigenous contractor (Portplus Limited), especially so because the firm is owned by an indigene of the community where the job is sited.

“Also, we are happy because you have not only sited the project to achieve infrastructural development but to equally empower the locals financially through menial jobs as the construction progresses. It is however sad to note Sir, that a project designed by your government to bring smiles to the faces of the residents of the said community may not achieve the desired results going forward, except you act fast.

“Culverts were constructed with 10mm rods as against 16mm rods which is a new practice that is not traceable to any construction standard. Inadequate spacing of rods in the culverts construction to cut cost. Inadequate sand filling so that the road will be below water level when the tide rises. Drain was not properly sloped. The resulting effect is that the residents practically get displaced from their houses when it rains as a result of flooding.

“Poor concentration of stone base. Stone base compaction already at same level with side drainage without evidence of rods showing continuity in the already casted drainage. We should state further that this unfortunate turn of events has not come to us as a surprise as the contractor handling the project, PortPlus Limited is an industry player in the Maritime sector and has no known track record or required competencies in the construction industry.

“The one-sided drain will not be able to protect the road from erosion and earth movement when the tide rises. A second drain will serve as embankment to give the road a long-lasting span. We would want to further state that agencies saddled with the responsibility of supervising the job seem to have been compromised; this is so because the project has not been regularly/properly supervised by government officials.

“Community dwellers who have one way or the other challenged the poor standard of the road, are being tormented by the President General; this if not checked, may snowball into an internal communal crisis. Once again, we thank you for your efforts in bringing happiness to our people and count on your impassioned judgement on the above highlighted issues.” the petition stated.

The petition was copied relevant agencies including the speaker, Delta state house of Assembly, Member representing Isoko constituency, Commissioner of police, State Director, SSS, Asaba, Ex-President Generals, Ikpide-Irri, branch chairmen, Ikpide-Irri among others.

It would be recalled that indigenes of the community had last two weeks protested against the substandard work being done by the company PORTPLUS limited.

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