By Margaret John: House of Assembly Correspondent
The ongoing audit of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Cross River State Government by the eight House of Assembly has revealed that a construction firm, Messrs Megalo Construction and Engineering limited of 5, Ndoma-Egba crescent, Calabar collected a mobilization fee of NGN39,076,274 for three projects but completed only one.
The sum is said to be 50 percent of the total sum (NGN78, 152,548.10k) paid to the contractor as mobilization fee in December 2011. But the contractor began work in June 2014.
The projects are the replacement of multiple cell culverts with short span bridges in Calabar metropolis at: Nyok Esu Street (NGN32, 901,409.37k); Goldie by Target (NGN26, 535,847.80k) and Murray Street (NGN18, 815,290.93k).
According to the report of the house public accounts committee which was presented during plenary on Tuesday, the contractor applied to the Ministry for variations requesting for additional funds but the Ministry could not oblige the request as there was no budgetary allocation for the project between the 2015 and 2016 financial years.
The report also has it that the contractor was encouraged to go back to work while the ministry was awaiting the approval of the Governor for additional funds.
The House therefore arrived at the resolution that Messrs Megalo Ltd should within 90 days from the adoption of the committee report by the State House of Assembly return to site and commence work on the designated locations while awaiting the Governor’s approval for the release of additional funds.
They also resolved that failure to return to the site, the Ministry of Environment should terminate the contract and thereafter recover from MEGALO Ltd, the sum of NGN6,274,864.68k being balance of the mobilization fee of NGN39, 076,274.05k out of which NGN32,901,409.37k was used for the replacement of multiple cell culverts with a short span bridge at Nyok Esu in Calabar Metropolis.
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