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Benue: Contractor Allegedly Collects N2.9 bn, Abandons Project

John Shiaondo, Makurdi

Contractor handling Otukpo-Utonkon-Igumale road project, Rockbridge Construction Limited has allegedly abandoned the project after collecting N2.9 billion.
Testifying before the Benue state Committee on Contract Review, Verification and assessment yesterday, Director of Civil Engineering at the state Ministry of Works and Transport, Engr. Alexander Shaapera said the contract was awarded to the company at the cost of N3.5 billion and was abandoned after the contractor was paid a total of N2.9 billion, representing 82% of the sum.
Responding the chairman of the committee Charlse-Mary Avur condemned the decision of the ministry for awarding seven road projects to one contractor to execute within twelve months knowing full well that the company had no capacity to execute the contract within the period.
The committee chairman promised to invite all affected contractors to appear before it at a later date to explain the allegation leveled against them.
Also testifying, Deputy Director of Commerce, Mr. Matthew Otache told the committee that one Rubbing Minds Consulting Limited Abuja was engaged by the state to allocate and sale shops at the Makurdi Ultra-Modern Market but money realised from the sales of the shops were not deposited in government account.
According to him, “there is no evidence of remittances to government bank account in respect of the sales of the shops.”
He said BEIMCO was believed to have been commissioned to manage the market without letter of engagement from the ministry with Sam Tor and one Alabi currently in charge as manager and accountant respectively.

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