The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Dino Melaye, has summoned the contractor handling the construction of the official residence of the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. This is over a failure to complete the project despite the release of over 80% of the total funds allocated.
Melaye expressed indignation at some of the figures which seemed grossly inflated. One of such figures is the Security Gate, which was awarded at N55m and later increased to N275m.
Another was a church building costing N88m while a mosque of the same size and capacity cost over N90m.
“It is outrageously too much,” Melaye said during an inspection of the uncompleted edifice along with Ben Bruce and other members of the committee.
The FCT Senate Committee Chairman queried how over N6.2bn had been released out of the total N7bn allocated, which he said amounted to 88.7%, and the building was still yet to be completed. He said he found it upsetting that the building was less than 50% done.
Melaye said following the directive of the National Assembly, one of the contractors, Gilmor, had submitted it’s report, while Julius Berger Plc. had ignored the directive.He then ordered that the Managing Director of the construction company be summoned before the Senate FCT Committee.
This same building when awarded in 2009 for the sum of N7bn brought negative reaction from various quarters. The Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, had abandoned the project, following the refusal of the 7th Senate to accept the inflation of the contract sum by N9bn.
In 2012, a former Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed, brought forth a request for N9bn more to complete the project. The variation was expected to accommodate a helipad sparking intense public outrage.
FCDA Executive Secretary Adamu Ismail later told the Senate Committee on FCT that the proposed additional N9bn was slashed to about N6bn by the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP.
He said the variation was also meant to provide furniture, fencing, 2 additional protocol guest houses, a banquet hall and security gadgets.
Then Senate Committee on FCT, led by Smart Adeyemi, however, rejected the request for the variation, which was more than 100%.
Adeyemi at the time, said either N13bn or N14bn or N16bn for the project was “indefensible”.