Concerned indigenes of Ikpide-Irri riverine community, Isoko South local government area of Delta State, have called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to blacklist Portplus Limited, a registered marine firm and its Chief Executive Officer over alleged controversial ‘substandard road project’ being executed by the marine company in the community.
This is coming on the backdrop of over a year series of protests and backlashes from the community indigenes against the contractor who is an indigene of the community’
The contractor had been protested against many time over the purported substandard road project his company is executing in the community.
In the renewed agitation for a standard job on the community road, the concerned indigenes urged the governor to immediately blacklist the marine firm handling the project.
They want the governor to re-award the second phase of the contract to a more competent firm known for construction of quality roads that can stand the test of time.
The fresh calls for the total blacklist of the contractor is coming at the wake of the recent flooding incident in the community as a result of the reported poor job done by the firm.
The indigene claimed that the contractor was busy cutting corners in the execution of the road project to the detriment of his own community.
In a statement signed on behalf of the concerned indigenes of the community by Sabastine Agbefe and Omohode Richard, the duo noted that PORTPLUS Limited owned by one Immanuel Emoefe, incorporated in 2004 with Registration Number (RC No 607566) handles operations as a Marine Logistics and Support Services provider as such has no bearing in construction of roads.
“We are urging the governor to immediately revoke and re-award the contract to a competent company that specialised in road construction. We also urge the governor never to award the second phase of the contract to the incompetent PORTPLUS limited.
“We received with great joy, the news that the contract was awarded to our own son, an indigene of the community where the job is sited. But it is however sad to note that a project designed by your government to bring smiles to the faces of the residents of the community is been executed poorly just to maximal huge profits. We urge you to revoke the contract immediately”, the statement read.
When one of our correspondent contacted the firm’s site engineer, Frank Nnamdi, he simply said he was not permitted to speak to the press following the controversy the project has generated for the past one year.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Works, James Augoye, who had last year during an inspection of the project declared it ‘substandard’, said last two weeks during a press briefing in Asaba that all complaints on the project has been looked into for a high quality delivery, disclosing that the state executive council meeting has approved a redesign and review of the project.
“His Excellency said and I want to also re-echo it that there is need for communities to take ownership of projects that are been constructed in their communities. It will assist us to monitor the contractors and even monitor our field Engineers to ensure that there will be no compromises.”
Governor Okowa, had in early 2017 awarded the first phase of the Ikpide-Irri road contract to PORTPLUS Limited at the cost of N736, 404, 555.60.
But following the controversy that trailed the award of the road project, the elder brother of the contractor and president general of the community, Michael Omojefe, was said to have termed the contract as a ‘Kola-nut’ contract given by the governor in appreciation to his younger brother’s contribution to the governor’s elections in 2015.