Senate summons Works Minister over N120bn Bodo-Bonny road

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has mandated its Committee on Works to summon the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola over the abandoned Bodo/Bonny Road linking the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG in Bonny, Rivers State.

According to the Senate directive, Mr. Fashola is to explain to the committee upon invitation, circumstances surrounding the federal government’s inability to partner with the NLNG Management for urgent completion of the 35km road project awarded for =N=20billion in 2002 during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

These were part of the resolutions reached at Wednesday’s plenary, following a motion on the “urgent need for the completion of Bodo/Bonny road; linking the NLNG complex.

The motion was sponsored by Senator George Thompson Sekibo and co-sponsored by Senators Osinakachukwu Ideozu and Magnus Abe.

Senate also directed its Committee on Works to carry out an independent comprehensive evaluation of the Bodo/Bonny road project and report back within four weeks.

Senator Sekibo in the motion recalled that the 37km road project in Gokana local government area of Rivers State which  hosts the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas in Bonny was awarded by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasajo for a cost of =N=20billion in 2002 , re-awarded by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 after years of abandonment at contract revalidation value of =N=120billion out of which =N=20billion was appropriated for in the 2015 budget which was however not cash backed.

According to him, ‘to worsen matters, the all-important road project was not captured in the 2016 budget thus making the lack of understanding of the importance of the road for national economic development obvious. 

He lamented further that though the road project was captured in the 2017 budget but a meagre vote of =N=9billion was earmarked for it which according to him, will lead to continued abandonment of the project.

A disturbing scenario he added , made the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike approach management of NLNG last year for needed collaboration with federal government on execution of the road project upon which the NLNG management accepted to contribute a whooping sum of =N=60billion (50% )of the contract value.

He however lamented that despite the good disposition of NLNG to partner with the FG on execution of the road project, federal government which has business concern worth $13billion has not taken the needed steps to actualize the proposal and commence the execution of the project which after completion, will earn it more revenues through the NLNG than any other government.

All the senators who contributed to debate on the motion supported it by concurring to its prayers which were eventually adopted by the Senate.

Nnenna.O