Contractors handling FMC projects blame delay on poor funding, cost variation

Contractors executing projects at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Owerri in Imo have appealed for contract variations to enable them to complete their projects.
The contractors made the appeal in Owerri on Friday during a visit of a delegation from the Fiscal

Responsibility Commission (FRC) led by Head of Legal Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Mr Charles Abana.
One of the contractors handling the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) building in the hospital, Mr Uche Uche, told the delegation that the delay in completion of various projects awarded to them was due to poor funding and project cost variation.

Uche said that high cost of materials and the lock down occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic also affected the project completion adding that he had executed 70 per cent of the project assigned to him.
He said for the job to be completed, government had to pay the cost variation to enable him to meet up with the present cost of building materials.

The contractor handling a two-storey medical ward, Mr Tito Asekame, also told the team that the project had suffered serious setback due to poor funding.
He appealed to the Federal Government to release funds on time to enable him to complete the project as stipulated in the award letter.

Asekame also appealed to government to consider the variation cost on the project due to delay in fund disbursement.
Leader of the delegation, Mr Abana urged the contractors not to be discouraged by the high cost of building materials, but to ensure that every money released by government was justified.

“I can understand that part of the delay was caused by the recent lock down, which was followed by the #End-SARS crises, however, you must justify the money so far given to you by government.

“We are in the South-East specifically to inspect Federal Government-funded projects; we will inspect 11 projects in the zone which will include the second Niger Bridge,” he said.

He said the delegation observed some contract variations in the projects due to high cost of building materials, but advised the contractors to ensure they justify money released to them before talking about contract variation.
“Our observations are that there are critical projects going on in FMC Owerri which needed to be completed immediately; we are going to include them in our report and advise the government properly,” he said.

The Chief Medical Director of the FMC, Owerri, Dr Kinsley Achigbu, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that money was released for the completion of critical projects in the centre.
He listed some of the challenges in the hospital to include inadequate bed spaces for patients and inadequate funding among others.
He commended the team for the visit, while also expressing optimism that the visit would yield good dividends for the hospital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team inspected MRI, Specialists Outpatient Building and the Renal Dialysis Center among others.

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