More troubles for Bi-Courtney as sister company may lose N4.8bn road contract in Ondo

Wale Babalakin, [Photo: punchng.com]

Bi-Courtney and its affiliate are embattled

Less than 24 hours after it lost the multi-billion dollars concession agreement for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a company believed to be linked to Bi-Courtney may lose another multi-billion naira contract; this time in Ondo State.

The Ondo State Government announced on Tuesday that it would terminate the contractual agreement between it and Homan Engineering Limited, believed to be owned by Wale Babalakin, the head of the Bi-Courtney Consortium, within the next two-weeks if the company does not fully mobilise staff and equipment to site.

The Commissioner for Works, Gboye Adegbenro, said this when he led senior officials of his ministry and journalists on an inspection tour of some road projects in the state, including the Akure-Oba-Ile-Airport road being done by the company.

Mr. Adegbenro said Homan Engineering Limited has “performed below expectation.”

The firm had also lost a major road contract it was handling for the state government in Ondo town barely 3 months ago. Mr. Adegbenro noted that the state government decided to sack the firm from the Ondo township road dualisation project as it is glaring that it had no capacity to deliver.

The Commissioner explained that the 8.2 kilometre Akure-Oba-Ile-Airport road contract was initially valued at N3.6bn before it was reviewed upward to N4.8bn in January 2011, following the partial removal of oil subsidy.

Records from the Ministry of Works indicate that the contract was awarded about three years ago and it had survived three dry seasons. Still the company only achieved about 26 per cent of the work.

Mr. Adegbenro expressed his anger at Homan Engineering for not delivering the project since the state government had not withheld funds for the project or relocated structures or facilities.

Efforts made by the Site Engineer, Adebanjo Famomi, to persuade the commissioner that his firm will complete the project within six months were unsuccessful.

“There is no wonder that you can perform in another six months. You have three years and all you have not even achieved a kilometre out of the over eight kilometre road,” Mr. Adegbenro said.

Speaking with journalists after the inspection, Mr. Adegbenro expressed disappointment in the contractors over their handling of the road project.

“We have given them a two-week ultimatum. If they fail to move and mobilize personnel and materials to the site, they should consider the contract as being terminated.

“It is glaring that they are not ready and prepared for the project. I learnt the company is having management crisis but we cannot allow them to use that to suffer the people of the state and hold the government to ransom.

“On our own side as government, we have done our part and played our roles well by ensuring that we do not owe the contractors and we have a responsibility to deliver good services to the people,” the commissioner said.

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