The Federal Government has rescinded its previous decision to halt the reconstruction work on the Eleme-Onne section of the East-West Road in Rivers State. This directive, reinstating the work, was issued to the contractor, Renolds Construction Company (RCC), mandating an immediate resumption of operations across all project sections while adhering strictly to contractual specifications.
This development follows an earlier suspension triggered by concerns over the use of substandard materials and a disappointing pace of progress. The Minister of Works, David Umahi, expressed his dissatisfaction during an impromptu site visit on January 27, 2024, where he noted the slow advancement despite the government’s prepayment of N33 billion.
However, a new statement issued on January 29, 2024, by Orji Uchenna, the minister’s Special Adviser on Media, indicated a shift in stance. The statement detailed that “The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has directed Mrss Renolds Construction Company RCC, Nigeria Limited to immediately resume work on the 15 km Eleme to Onne Junction on the East-West Road, Rivers State which he suspended during his unscheduled inspection visit to the project site on 27th January 2024, due to observed infractions on the construction specifications.”
The resolution to restart work emerged from a meeting involving the Permanent Secretary, key Directors of the Ministry, and the management of RCC Ltd. The gathering, held at the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja, aimed to address the technical issues that led to the initial suspension.
In his directive, Umahi emphasized the necessity of compliance with all construction standards. Additionally, he instructed the contractors to coordinate with the Permanent Secretary and the Director of construction to engage with local community representatives. This engagement is essential to resolve any issues related to the infringement of the contractors’ right of way, which has been cited as a factor hindering project progress.
The Minister’s firm stance reflects a commitment to the rapid and high-quality execution of federal government projects nationwide. This aligns with the current administration’s vision, with an unwavering determination to reject any works that do not meet the requisite standards.