The Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Works has commenced investigation into the multi million naira Asaba International Airport of which the major contractor, ULO Consultant Limited, engaged by the Delta State Government had written to pull out.
The probe followed the 2018 budget defence by the Ministry of Work, which is supervising the project since inception.
BigPen Online gathered that the hearing on the contract which started on Tuesday was inconclusive as all parties are to appear again today (Wednesday) for further investigation into the spending, expenditure and other matters relating to the project.
The contract has been contention since the tenure of Okowa’s predecessor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan who controvertailly awarded the mind-boggling contract.
House Committee Chairman on Works, Hon. (Chief) Evance Ochuko Ivwurie who led others members on oversight project inspection and evualation at the site, had last week queried the contractor, Chief Uche Okpuno, over the project which according to him has caused the State Government untold embarrassment, setbacks and public opprobrium”.
Meanwhile, at the sitting on Tuesday, the state Commissioner for Works, James Aguoye, allegedly said that ULO Consultant was paid as much as 50% for different contracts in the Asaba Airport project but had failed to deliver on them.
The Commissioner was quoted to have confirmed that ULO Consultant had written to the Governor on 15th November, 2017 that they are pulling out of the Asaba Airport Contract, and had urged the House Committee to accelerate the pull out process to save the State government from endless embarrassment.
The Commissioner was said to have alleged that the contractor had also abandoned some other subcontracts as far as 2014 including Maryam Babangida road and the Ughelli-Asaba road projects of which the governor have been criticised.
BigPen Online recalls that the Asaba International Airport was downgraded in 2015 by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), following the failure of the Delta state government to comply with safety measures, especially concerns on the runway and taxiway and hills surrounding the airport.