Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, has voiced discontent with the humiliating surge of contract variants in the territory, stressing that since announcing his commitment to complete abandoned projects, he has been bombarded with contract variation discussions.
Vanguard recently reported that the contract for the Wassa Mass Housing Project, which was awarded to Gilmor Construction Company in 2014 for N26 billion, was increased to N85 billion in 2018.
Wike stated on Thursday, while inspecting the Lower Usuma Dam in Bwari, that the monetary differences in contract variants were not only disturbing, but also unacceptable.
Wike questioned why the contractor’s report on the Usuma Water system contract, which was awarded as an emergency project in 2017 for N20 billion and later revised upward to N50 billion in 2020, would now indicate that another N900 million would be required to complete the job despite reaching 90 percent completion.
He stated that his administration will not accept such deviations, pledging to revamp the entire system to ensure openness in contract award and execution.
“We’re going to overhaul the entire system,” he stated. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. What you observe in FCDA contract variance from N10 billion to N120 billion, from N50 billion to N200 billion. It’s terrifying, and I’m not going to accept it.
“It was unfortunate that we went to the Gurara road, because it was very embarrassing, and this is not what they will accept.” The contract was won in 2017 for N20 billion, however it was amended to N50 billion in 2020.
“As I speak to you, we have paid nearly N50 billion; what is outstanding from what the man in charge has said is N900 million, and now the N900 million will not be enough to complete the job that they have done about 90% of, and thus we move to another variation.” This is something we will not allow.”
“Now, having arrived at the Usuma Water System, I was told that the contract had been awarded as an emergency contract,” he added. We only recently learned that it was not completely awarded. Since last August, I’ve just sent a letter of intent to the contractor.
“We understand the significance of this because it provides water to our people in the city and the environment.”
“Because water is critical, I have ordered that there be no more emergencies.” If something happened between last year and now, it is no longer considered an emergency. If there was an emergency, we will start from scratch, supervise the procurement procedure, and allow other companies to bid on this project. As a result, it is concerning.”
Furthermore, the Minister stated that the FCTA is selecting approximately ten priority contracts, for which companies handling them have been contacted and an agreement has been reached.
“We agreed with some companies for six months, and we agreed with others for 15 months.” We do not want any initiative that will not exist without finance. “Relying on the national budget is a problem,” he declared, adding that the FCTA would use its Internally Generated Revenue IGR wisely.