By Wole Oyebade
Apparently miffed by what it described as antics of the contractor, the Federal Government has hinted on the plan to terminate the contract for the remodelling of the domestic wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during an inspection of the airport, said government has had enough of the incomplete project, and will take a legal means to fix the problem.
Meanwhile, Sirika said the new terminal of the airport’s international wing is set to be completed by July this year.
Recall that The Guide to Sleeping in Airports 2017, survey rated the Port Harcourt airport as one of the worst aerodromes in the world, citing its rather unwelcoming ambience and officials’ extortion with impunity.
Speaking at the old terminal, which had been under remodelling since 2011, Sirika expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the contractor, Inter-Bua Construction Limited, in handling the project.
He said: “Unfortunately, this particular procurement started in 2011, and the contractor moved to site in 2012. Since then, he has taken his own speed the way he deems fit, and he has been indulged.
“He even changed the scope of work without approval, and subsequently went to the previous government and got approval to that effect. When we came in, we had no option than to continue since he had a legitimate extension and expansion approval from the then government.
“Since government is a continuum, we decided as a government to finish it in line with the thinking of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete all ongoing projects rather than create new ones.”
The minister noted that Port Harcourt is very important to the Nigerian economy; hence government is very keen on completing the project due to the current hardship being faced by travellers.
“I am disappointed with his slow pace of work and services. As the Minister of State for Aviation, I have invited him (the contractor) severally to my office to read him all the riot acts that I know how to.