By Okunade Adekunle
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure that contractors are not paid mobilisation fee unless Right of Way is delivered and the contractor shows readiness to work.
The lawmakers cautioned the governor after a motion was moved by the Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Abiodun Tobun during plenary on Thursday.
The House also called on the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, through the office of the Special Adviser on Works, to prepare regulations outlining Standards Operation Procedures for road contract administration in the State and forward same to the House in line with Section 1 of the regulations approval law.
The House noted that one of the Cardinal programmes of Mr. Sanwo-Olu’s administration is the provision of World class infrastructural facilities to support the growing population of the State and serve as the development driver of a vision of being Africa’s model smart city, a global and financial hub which is a fundamental ingredient for economic growth and development.
The House further noted the visible commitment of the government to infrastructural renewal, expansion, upgrading and regeneration in many areas of the State, which it said was key to the realization of the development agenda of Sanwo-Olu’s administration tagged : THEMES.
“The House recognized the humongous amount of money that the state spends yearly on road repairs and reconstruction, to facilitate seamless transportation system and boost economic activities of the people of Lagos State and observed with dismay the prevalence of failure of newly constructed and rehabilitated roads in the State.
“The House observes with worry the abandonment of many road projects begging for attention to be commenced or completed; and
“Realizes that the issue of substandard road construction and rehabilitation is to be blamed on absence of approved regulations specifying Standard Operating Procedures required in road project administration, and that lack of delivery of right of way before payment of mobilisation fee is responsible for many cases of abandoned projects in the State,” the motion read.
Tobun told his colleagues that the observations were noticed during the oversight functions of his committee.
In his contribution, Hon. Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1) said that the scarce resources of the state must be well managed.
According to him, we have seen so many projects abandoned and we need to look at those projects and see how much we have with the contractors. We should also look at better ways y to get things done.
Also, Hon Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) said that the development is detrimental to budgeting process as the contractors often come back for variations because having held money for project more than a year costs of items go up and that a review was needed.
He further said that funds get tied down in the budget and that they could not be used for any other project aside what it was initially appropriated for. This, he said, leads to abandonment of projects.
Hon. David Setonji ( Badagry 2) noted that the ministries involved are working at cross purposes and that the Ministry of Physical Planning is not really cooperating, as it regards giving right of way for the execution of projects.