By Codratus Godson
Former governor and senator, Orji Uzor Kalu, said he tried to introduce 65 per cent upfront payment to contractors which he said was scuttled by the recently passed Finance Act.
Now, the Abia ex-governor has hailed Gov Nyesom Wike for paying as high as 70 per cent to those doing construction jobs in the state.
Kalu spoke in Port Harcourt when he was led to construction sites by the host, Wike.
The Chief Whip of Senate, who was fascinated at the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover, Rumuogba Flyover, Mother and Child Hospital and the Real Madrid Football Academy, described them as long-term investment for the good of Rivers people.
Kalu said; “In the Senate, I proposed that contractors be paid 65 percent, but the Finance Bill went in for 15 percent of mobilization fee. Here, Governor Wike has just told us that he is paying 70 percent.
“So he is thinking in the right direction. Government should start giving contractors money up front with guarantee so that projects don’t get abandoned, because you go all over the states of Nigeria and you will see a lot of abandoned projects.
He described the Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover as a long time investment that speaks for itself and Governor Wike is not only talking , but is also working on the ground.
” Look at the people, they are very happy to see their governor. Any leader that cannot be seen by his people is not a good leader.
“What we are seeing here(Rumuogba flyover), is the longest flyover in Nigeria apart from Third Mainland Bridge and Oluko in Benue State which are bridges. I have just walked on this that is up-to one point four kilometers.”
On his part, former minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen described the flyover projects as rare kinds and difficult to find anywhere in the country
He said all the projects including the Mother and Child Hospital are quality infrastructure that are adding to the urban landscape of the State.
Speaking on his motivation for his commitment to quality project delivery, Gov Wike said he is grateful to Rivers People for giving him the opportunity to superintendent over the affairs of the state.
According to him, he is giving back to the state quality service that will situate it rightly in the comity of states, and be reckoned as a destination for investments.
“Rivers people gave me an opportunity and I will not misuse or abuse that opportunity.”