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Lagos Ibadan Expressway: FG Terminates Contract with Bi-Courtney, Hires Julius Berger, RCC

By on November 20, 2012

Julius Berger trucks ready for a project

The contract for the construction of the 125-kilometre Lagos – Ibadan Expressway has been terminated and a new contractor hired.

The Federal Government on Monday terminated its agreement with Bi-Courtney Consortium for the reconstruction of the road.

The government, while proclaiming the termination of its contract with Bi-Courtney, disclosed that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and RCC Nigeria Limited have been contracted for the 125-kilometre road.

The government said the termination of the contract with Bi-Courtney was because Bi-Courtney serially breached the terms of the concession agreement signed by both parties on May 26, 2009 under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua administration.

Bi-Courtney is a construction company owned by billionaire executive, Wale Babalakin.

Bi-Courtney spokesperson, Dipo Kehinde accused the government of unfairness to the company, adding that the government was just looking for excuses for them to fail.

Bi-Courtney was expected to refurbish the road with N89.53bn and collect toll on it for 25 years in order to recoup its investment under the agreement tagged, Design, Build, Operate and Transfer.

Bi-Courtney was expected to provide two additional lanes in each direction between Lagos and Sagamu Interchange, provide associated facilities for the security and welfare of road users, and ensure a free flow of traffic.

The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, said the federal government took into consideration all the rules of disengagement before taking the decision, adding that the government repeatedly tried to dialogue with Bi-Courtney to remedy the situation without any positive result from the firm.

The minister said, “Due to the senseless carnage on this important expressway, which is part of Arterial Route A1, the Federal Government has also decided to embark on the Emergency Reconstruction of the expressway.

“Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Works has engaged the services of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and RCC Nigeria Limited to commence work immediately on the reconstruction of the expressway.

“While Julius Berger would handle Section 1: from Lagos to Shagamu interchange, RCC Nigeria Limited will be responsible for Section II: from Shagamu to Ibadan.

“The Federal Government wishes to assure (Nigerians) that while it will continue to uphold the sanctity of contracts entered into by the Federal Government, it will not shy away from implementing provisions of the contract agreement dealing with non-performance on the part of the contracting party.

“The legal implications of this termination have been carefully considered by both the Federal Ministry of Works and indeed the Federal Government. If you recall we have been on this issue for quite some time now and we have meticulously followed the concession agreement, the provision of relevant clauses of the agreement.

“We have complied fully with the provisions of this agreement. We have had cause even in the past to write the concessionaire to detail the breaches, which it had committed in this agreement in this particular transaction.

“We have also followed the minimum and maximum number of days the contractor was expected to remedy the situation but failing which the Federal Government had no alternative but to take this course of action,” he added.

However, Kehinde said that government frustrated Bi-Courtney and never wanted them to handle the project, adding that it took the government two years to approve the design of the project.

“The Federal Government also made us to get the commitment of foreign firms for the project only for the Government to ask us to return to the old agreement and we had to bring in government contractors.”

One Comment

  1. frikdensil

    November 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    It was a known outcome,the surprise is that GEJ waited this long to revoke this contract.