Some contractors handling projects with the Federal Ministry of Works have cautioned the minister, David Nweze Umahi against reviewing previously awarded contracts with a view to re-awarding them to new contractors.
They also described the purported move as a deliberate attempt to frustrate the President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda by stalling the progress of work through non-payment.
According to them, the ministry has concluded plans to tamper with contracts already awarded by the Federal Executive Council FEC under the guise of review.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow contractors, Vitalis Chikwendu in a statement accused the minister of stalling the progress of work by taking too much time to settle down and treat files, as well as sidelining civil servants who have institutional memory.
Chikwendu said; “We are ready for him as he has no power to tamper with contracts duly approved by FEC.
“As I talk to you, the directors and other senior staff in the ministry are disenchanted because he is running the ministry like his personal business and has bragged that he would review even contracts awarded by the Federal Executive Council”.
The contractors said instead of getting briefings from directors and other senior staff to enable him know the state of projects being handled by or supervised by the ministry before determining next line of action, Umahi elected to traverse the states in his desperate attempt to engage in window dressing pretending to be working while in actual fact, he is stalling progress of works in the ministry.
“One key sign that we are dealing with a wrong man for the job is his jumping from one state to the other pretending to be inspecting federal roads when in actual fact he has not gotten briefings on the state of even these roads”
He cautioned against reported plans that the Minister’s handlers want him to appoint special assistants for the 36 states of the federation and in so doing, bring in persons he can easily control to do his bidding.
“He is trying to frustrate some of us who have done work and have gone far with our projects. If not, why should the minister refused to treat files and ensure expeditious release of money so we can continue with the projects?
“We passionately appeal to Mr President to urgently redeploy the minister and bring someone who has track records like a Fashola or Wike whose records of performances in their states are stellar; because it is clear that Umahi’s desires are at variance with the aspirations of the current administration,” he added.