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Benue govt terminates 40.37 km Origbo-Gbajimba road contract

By Sunday Iduh

Benue State government has terminated the contract for the construction of 40.37 kilometers Origbo-Imande-Apu-Gbajimba road because of the lukewarm attitude of the contractor.

Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Michael Inalegwu disclosed this Thursday while briefing journalists after an emergency state Executive Council (Exco) meeting held at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.

He said, “the contractor has refused to abide by the terms of the contract even after series of warnings. The government is interested in opening up rural areas and will not allow anything to distract it. When the contract for the road was awarded, people in that axis were happy and expected timely completion.

“The road contract was initially awarded at the cost of four billion, seven hundred and seventy six million, eight hundred and fifty eight thousand, four hundred and fourty five naira, sixty three Kobo (4,766, 858, 445.63) in March, 2016. But the contractor complained and the contract was reviewed to six billion, one hundred and twenty six million, three hundred and seventy two thousand, two kobo (6,126, 372. 02 to enable him complete the construction work. Despite the review and the efforts put in place by the government for the contractor to live up to expectations, he failed woefully. For that reason, we can not commit the scarce resources further to someone who is not ready to meet the obligation.”

Exco also approved the amendment of the state Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019 following a memo presented by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Barr Mike Gusah. “You can not have a static law. This amendment will help in the administration of criminal justice law in such a way that all the lacuna in the law will be addressed,” the commissioner stated.

The state Executive Council equally gave a nod for the transfer of the management of the Benue State Geological Garden from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to the Benue State University for research work and proper utilization of the garden. “The garden, including the staff will hence forth be managed by the Benue State University,” Inalegwu said.

Inalegwu further stated that, the sum of 52.5 million naira was approved for the Benue State House of Assembly to enhance the timely working, including documentation  process of the 2023 budget estimates to meet the January commencement deadline.

According to the commissioner, Exco urged the staff of Benue State Internal Revenue Services (BIRS) and the revenue consultant to work together, in order to ensure smooth operation for the overall benefits of the state

The commissioner disclosed that a minute silence was observed in honor of a former Secretary to the State Government, Bartholomew Oche who died recently and will be buried Friday.

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