Ndiebe Bridge, Abam : Funds Yet To Be Released To Contractor – Anambra-Imo River Basin

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The Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority has debunked the insinuation in many quarters that the corporation has connived with the contractor Masta Services Ltd handling the Ndiebe Bailey Bridge in Abam to siphon the fund meant for the project without completing the project.

While speaking on behalf of the corporation .Engr. Gera O. Osuagwu who is the Managing Director said the allegation spreading around on complicity on the part of the corporation as regards the execution of the project is false and baseless.

This followed a petition written by the Ndiebe community in Abam to the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority where the Community was alleging that the contractor has abandoned the project after 50 million naira meant for the project was released to them.

In the petition which was made available to our source , the community is quoted to have said ” the contractor handling work on the Ndiebe Bailey Bridge in Abam, Arochukwu LGA, of Abia State, Masta Services Ltd was paid the sum of N49, 761, 637.07 by the Anambra Imo River Basin Authority out of the N50m contact sum.

But the Contractor has debunked the allegation, according to Mr. Ugochukwu Ohuabunwa, Managing Director of Masta Services Ltd he revealed that the position of the community is not the real facts on ground.

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The Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority in her response to the whole contract issue said the fund for the contract was yet to be released to the contractor in a letter released to our source titled”.

RE: REPLACEMENT OF NDIEBE BAILEY BRIDGE IN ABIA NORTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT, ABIA STATE. CONTRACT NO. AIRBDA/17/LOTB50″ the corporation among other things said

“The project was first captured in the 2017 Appropriation Act as a constituency project with allocation of and was awarded to Messrs. Masta Services Company Limited at the Contract Sum of Forty-Nine Million, Seven Hundred and SixtyOne Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirty-Seven Naira, Seven Kobo (N49,761,637.07) only.

The original concept of this project was to replace the damaged steel members of the Bailey Bridge with new ones. However, a closer investigation of the concrete abutment of the Bailey Bridge, revealed dangerous cracks which indicates that the foundation had failed and therefore, not safe again to carry any load. It was for this reason that the idea of constructing a conventional bridge to replace the Bailey Bridge was conceived.”

According to Engr. Gera O. Osuagwu, who is the Managing Director ” the new bridge, as conceived, could not be constructed without carrying out a detailed engineering study and design to determine the foundation type and the actual cost of the bridge which are very crucial in the project implementation.It was against the above backdrop that the scope of works for the phase one, awarded at the contract sum of N49,761,637.07 was formed to comprise of Study and Design of a conventional bridge, River Diversion Works and Concrete Works (in foundation)”

The Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority while debunking the alleged complicity on the part of the contractor said ” The Contractor has completely executed all the works in this phase (the album of work progress photographs and other documents are at our Office for sighting).At the conclusion of the Engineering Design, the contractor submitted the drawings and the final scope of works with the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME), The design also indicated that pile foundation will be required for the bridge.”

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The scope of works for the phase two include the following:

a. Mobilization and de-mobilization of piling rig to and from site

b. Provision, preparation and welding of pile shoes to casing pipes

c. Preparation and driving of scheduled casing pipes into the ground

d. Bridge Deck works

e. Earthworks

f. Road pavement

Obviously according to the corporation ” In 2018, no fund was appropriated for the project, resulting to the initial delay in the execution of the project, but in the 2019 appropriation, the sum of was budgeted for it. Regrettably, the phase two works was inadvertently not procured during 2019 procurement exercise. However, the original contract was revised by about (15%) to accommodate the additional executed works as this was the maximum allowable variation in line with procurement guideline.”

The truth according to the document released by the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority “The Contractor has already executed the Engineering Study and design of a new bridge, River diversion works and Concrete works on counterfort wall, Mobilization and de-mobilization of pilling rig to site, the Provision, preparation and welding of pile shoes to casing pipes, the Preparation and driving of scheduled casing pipes into the ground”

“It is important to note that the contractor was not paid for all the works achieved at the site because the funds could not be accessed due to allowable limit for contract revision. For example, Earthworks during river crossing, the concrete pile foundation, and Steel plate welding to pile were not paid for.” The Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority therefore ask everyone to be patient as the project would be fully completed as contracted.

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The corporation on the other hand solicite for the co-operation of the host Community as they have always done “Ndiebe people, as we know them, are peace loving and have been our host for many years, with one of our Agricultural Projects located within their Community. The relationship between Ndiebe people and the Anambra-lmo River Basin Development Authority has been a friendly one, and we would have appreciated a cordial visit from the Community to discuss the challenges of the project and the way forward to enable the completion of the bridge, rather than alleging complicity on the part of the River Basin with the contractor. There could not have been issue of collusion as the contractor was only paid for executed works.”

Finally, the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority said ” The realization of this project is of paramount importance to us as it is to the Community and therefore we must work closely to achieve this. We kindly crave your indulgence to solicit for understanding and assistance of all the National Assembly Members in Abia North Senatorial District to jointly ensure that this project is captured in the 2021 budget and also see to its funding. Please accept the assurances of our consideration and warm regards.”

See copy of letter below:

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