Reps To Probe N7bn Vice President’s Official Residence

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has resolved to investigate the N7 billion contract for the building of Vice President’s official residence.

The committee headed by Hon. Herman Hembe took the decision after undertaking an oversight visit to the project site in Abuja’s Three-Arms zone yesterday.

The committee members observed that after the payment of N6.215bn to Julius Berger
Nigeria Ltd, which is handling the project, the claim that the work had reached 88 per cent completion was untrue.

TodayNG gathered that the committee observed that the work done was actually less than 50 per cent, with an outstanding balance of N850m out of the total N7bn contract sum.

Members expressed concern that at a time when some contractors were paid less than N50 per cent as mobilisation fee, Julius Berger was paid 88 per cent, yet it abandoned the project.

Addressing journalists at the site, chairman of the committee, Hembe, said they would set up a sub-committee to probe the project with a view to ensuring that Nigerians get value for their money.

Explaining the breakdown of the project, Hembe said the VP’s Aide De Camp’s (ADC’s) house was contracted for N258m; Chief Security Officer’s house was for N228m; a church building at N84m while a mosque at N95m; security quarters at 114m; Boys Quarters at N288m; gate house for N55m; and infrastructure at N1.7bn, among other features of the residence.

For his part, acting director of the Public Building Department of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Arc Ikenna Ekeledo, said the amount paid included finishing materials, most of which were yet to be supplied.

He said the construction firm had done some other works outside the initial agreed contract cost, which would gulp an additional N1bn.

However, the committee said it would not appropriate any amount for the project until Julius Berger completes the project in the first place.