The Permanent Secretary Ecological Project Office, Malam Shehu Ibrahim, mni has threatened to sanction contractors who fail to meet up with their contractual agreements and timelines for the completion of their Projects. He said that the projects are time bound because of the seasonal flooding experienced in the country annually.
Malam Shehu made this known during an on-the-spot inspection tour of projects in Kwara and Lagos States. Sites visited were Asa River/Isale Koko Erosion and Flood Control Project, Ilorin, Kwara State and the Dredging and Channelization of Tejuosho (NTA) Canal Railway works at Tejuosho, Surulere, Lagos State.
At the Tejuosho site, the Permanent Secretary expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work and maintained that there must be visible impact on government resources expended on Ecological interventions across the country.
“We have already summoned the contractor to the office to come and explain some of the reasons why we have delay. “When he comes to the office, we will sit down and have proper discussion on the way forward.”
Malam Shehu regretted that the project, which was supposed to be completed within one year of award, has taken almost 3 years with not more than 55% completion. He further expressed sadness that the project that was expected to ameliorate the flooding issue within and around Tejuosho and bring succor to the residents has not been achieved due to the delay in the project execution and delivery.
The Permanent Secretary promised to intensify his monitory program on all EPO on-going projects across the country.
At Ilorin, Kwara State, the Permanent Secretary. Malam Ibrahim also inspected the 4km Asa River/Isale Koko project and disclosed that the over 20 years of the history of flooding in the area has been come to an end with the ecological intervention of the Federal Government through EPO.
According to him, “we are happy that the problems has reduced in the last two to three years when the Federal Government put up measures of erosion and flood control through the project,” adding that the project is positioned to handle the threats posed by the river and its offshoots, causing untold hardship to residents every year.
The major works to be executed under the contract involves dredging and desilting, as well as channelization and construction of retaining walls and drainage channels.
“After the evacuation, desilting and dredging of the river, people were still dumping refuse in the river. This is something we need to do with the State Government in order to stop the act of dumping refuse in the river and to achieve our goal,” he said.
Malam Ibrahim appealed to residents to maintain the projects so that they can stand the rest of time and also admonished them to avoid indecent dumping of debris on the canals which escalates flooding. In addition he said that the dumped debris will block the waterways, narrows the river path which prevents the free flow of water from the rivers during the rainy season.
The Permanent Secretary was accompanied on the inspection tour by EPO Directors including; Director, Soil Erosion and Flood Control, Abubakar Takuma; Director, Special Duties, Yakubu Habu; Director, Drought, Desertification and Coastal Zone Management, Haruna Bello and Director II, Pollution Control, Simon Tyungu.
Principal Information Officer
For: Deputy Director Press & Public Relations