Lawmaker Vows To Prosecute Contractors Who Abandon Road Construction Projects

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Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

LAGOS/By Dipo Awojobi  A lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Abiodun Tobun has expressed disappointment with the way he said some local contractors abandon road construction projects after collecting mobilisation fees from the state government.

Speaker, Lagos State Parliament
Speaker, Lagos State Parliament

He then warned that such contractors would be prosecuted by the state government.

Hon. Tobun, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure stated this, when he led members of the committee to the site of some road projects being financed by the state government on Wednesday.

The visiting team, which included legislative staff, staff of the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructures and journalists visited some on-going road projects in Surulere, Sari Iganmu, Eko Bridge, Apapa, Ajegunle, Amukoko and Anthony Village amongst others.

Speaking to journalists, the visibly worried lawmaker threatened that some of the contractors would be treated like criminals as, according to him, they spent government money without doing their jobs.

“We will prepare our reports and present them to the entire house. The constitution has given us power to carry out oversight functions on the funds appropriated to the executive. We discovered during our visits that some contractors did very badly by collecting mobilisation fees from the government for two years and performing as low as 5%.

“Some have even abandoned the projects after collecting initial money from the government, this is not good enough for our state. You know that infrastructural development is key to the development of any state, ” he said.

He stressed that some of the contractors were dragging the state back and that the House would come out with a resolution that would be sent to the executive for implementation and the judiciary for adjudication once the reports were presented to the entire House.

The lawmaker, who is representing Epe Constituency 1 in the Assembly, expressed concern over what he called a clear difference between projects being handled by foreign companies and the ones being handled by local contractors, saying that the foreigners always deliver as at when due unlike their local counterparts.

“I am disappointed in some of the local contractors. We are promoting local content and indigenisation, but they ought to allow the people to enjoy the dividends of democracy. Most people blame politicians for the woes of the country not knowing that it is the contractors that want to build skyscrappers on the sea without working hard that are delaying the projects meant for the use of the people,” he said.

He however, promised that more funds would be released to  those, who have performed well as he said that recommendations would be made to the state government to give them their money.
According to him, those, who collected money and did not perform might be charged to court.

He said: “they should be discredited and we will let the whole world know about them. We can go to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to get the names of their directors and publish them because they have succeeded in defrauding the state government.

“If the state government could give you as much as 60% to start a project and you perform as low as 10% in some cases, and you keep the money with you for one year, it is injustice. I am not the House, I am just the Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, but we will not fail to do our job as a committee and as a responsible legislature.

Tobun expressed reservations with the way some contractors failed to invest on the contracts as they told him they were waiting for more funds from the state government.
He said that the contractors ought to have performed beyond the 40% mobilisation fee they get at the beginning of the project before asking for more funds.

The politician stated that waiting for funds from the state government before the projects are delivered is as good as treating the job as if it was direct labour, promising that this would no longer be tolerated.
He also promised to seek the advice of the consultant engineers the House has contracted to determine the quality of the various projects, and warned that any contractor, who did shoddy jobs would be made to refund government fund.

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