The Senate has commended the Redeemed Christian Church of God and its General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, for rehabilitating the Ife-Ifewara Road, at a cost of N188m. The red chamber also directed Messrs Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited, which abandoned the project after collecting mobilisation funds, to refund N140m to the federation account.
The road project was earlier awarded to Messrs Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited but was abandoned after the company was paid N151m by the Federal Ministry of Works. After spending N188m to rehabilitate the road, the RCCG petitioned the Senate through the Church Secretary, Pastor Niyi Adebanjo, on February 9, 2021, and accused the ministry of paying N151m to the contractors which abandoned the project until the church rehabilitated it as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, was summoned by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, over the issue and he explained how his ministry paid the N151m to the contractors.
The committee chairman, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, submitted the report of his investigations to the Senate at plenary on Thursday. Having scrutinised the panel’s observations, findings and recommendations, the Senate accordingly hailed the RCCG for its generosity and condemned Messrs Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited for abandoning the road project after collecting mobilisation funds.
Part of the Senate resolution read, “That the Senate does commend the RCCG for alleviating the suffering of the Ife-Ifewara community by rehabilitating the Ife-Ifewara Road in Osun State. “That the Senate does urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to formally terminate the contract for the road project awarded to Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited in 2010 and abandoned since 2011 and recover the sum of N140m released to the company.”
Fashola, however, told the Senate committee that the money was not paid between 2016 to 2018 to the contractors as alleged by the RCCG. He explained that the contract for the road was awarded to Cartil Construction in December 2010 for N662m as a constituency project executed under the Ministry of Works five years before the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), took over.
He said based on Section 36 of the Public Procurement Act, the contractor was entitled to 15 per cent as mobilisation fee. He said the then minister first approved the payment of N99.4m to Cartil Construction Limited as 15 per cent mobilisation fee in 2011. He said having moved to the site, a second payment of N52m was made on December 29, 2011, bringing the total to N151m.
Fashola said contrary to the RCCG’s claims, the ministry under him did not pay any money to the contractors between 2016-2018. Adebanjo apologised to Fashola and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for indicating in his petition that the contractor was paid when the minister was in office.