Eket - The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) says it has so far intervened to the tune of N21 billion in the East-West Road projects.
Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, a member of the SURE-P committee, announced this on Monday in Oron during an inspection tour of section 4 of the East West Road.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team, led by Ohuabunwa, drove on the 50 km stretch of the road from Oron in Akwa Ibom to Ogoni in Rivers.
Ohuabunwa later told newsmen that the programme’s intervention had remarkably fast tracked the pace of work on the contract, awarded in 2006.
He said the intervention was funded from the Federal Government’s share of 41 per cent proceeds from the partial removal of petroleum subsidy in January.
He explained that SURE-P guaranteed contractors of prompt payment for work done and therefore an incentive for speedy delivery of projects.
"Our intervention approach is to assure contractors of availability of funds to pay for completed jobs and once the certificate of job completion is generated and verified, we pay the contractors promptly.
"We were here in August and we are here to access the extent of work done since our last visit. From what we have seen, we shall settle the last bill that the contractors provided," he said.
Prof. Kunle Wahab also said that the team was pleased with the progress of work in section 4 of the project.
He said the road was already providing relief to motorists, adding that a section of the road would be inaugurated in January 2013.
Another member of the committee, Alli Bukar, said the intervention had addressed the funding constraints which delayed the project beyond its completion date of April 2010.
Reacting to the perceived delays in the project, Mr Ghanem Rasbieh, the Site Agent of Gitto Nig Ltd, the contractor handling the section of the road, said extended rainy season in the region was an obstacle.
He explained that the dry season lasted only three months within the region.
Rasbieh gave the assurance that the project, which had attained 52 per cent progress, would be completed within one year.
The contract for the project was awarded on Sept. 28, 2006 for N26 billion and reviewed to N37.53 billion