Isoko group writes Governor Okowa, demands revocation of N736million Ikpide-Irri road contract

A Pan Isoko group, Isoko Monitoring Group (IMG), has called for the immediate revocation and re-award of the ongoing substandard controversial N736.4million Ikpide-Irri riverine community road project in Isoko South local government area of Delta State, awarded to PORTPLUS Limited by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

The group, while expressing dissatisfaction and disappointment with the incompetent manner the marine company was going about the complaints raised on the project, alleging that the agencies saddled with the responsibility of supervising the job as well as the leadership of the community have been compromised; and urged Governor Okowa to immediately revoke and re-award the said contract to a competent company, specialized in road construction, “especially so because the terrain is peculiar, swampy and resources are scarce.”

In a petition entitled “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, Ifeanyi Okowa, signed by IMG Presisent, Mr. Sebastine Agbefe, and made available to newsmen, urged the governor to, as a matter of urgency and importance, visit the project site for an on the spot assessment.

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“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 Your Excellency, 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. Recently, we read on the pages of both print and social media, the outcry of the indigenes, residents and a vast majority of Isoko people who have visited the job site, over the substandard and unprofessional job being carried out by Portplus Limited.

“An independent on-the-spot fact finding visitation, followed with video footage and pictorial evidence by members of Isoko Monitoring Group, (IMG), led by competent engineers of the Isoko extraction, reveals that: The contractor is not working in line with the Bill of Engineering Measurements and Evaluation (BEME) and Bill of Quantity (BOQ).

“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.

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“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.

“It is therefore our contention that if the contractor is left to carry on, the project will not be completed and where it is completed, it will not stand one wet season. The road will be a gaping embarrassment to your government. It is against this backdrop that we respectfully ask.

“That 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.

“The community executives who ought to play the role of informal supervisors since they are direct beneficiaries when the road is completed, have blatantly been compromised but we are not surprised as the President General of Ikpide Community is the immediate elder brother of the contractor.

“Community dwellers who have one way or the other challenged the poor standard of the road, are being tormented; 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.

“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. The community executives who ought to play the role of informal supervisors since they are direct beneficiaries when the road is completed, have blatantly been compromised.

“But we are not surprised as the President General of Ikpide Community is the immediate elder brother of the contractor. 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.” IMG warned.

The petition was copied to the speaker, Delta state house of Assembly, member representing Isoko South Constituency 1, Chairman, house committee on Works, commissioner for Works, Commissioner of police, State Director, SSS, Asaba, Ex-President Generals, Ikpide-Irri, branch chairmen, Ikpide-Irri among others.

 

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