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Work Hard, works minister charges contract management team

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The Minister of Works Engr. David Nweze Umahi has tasked the Contract Management Team (CMT) for the Value-Added Concession (VAC) Category of the Highways Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) to work hard and double their effort at this critical stage of Contract Implementation.

He made this remark while inaugurating the CMT at the Federal Ministry of Works Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister said “I understand that it has been three (3) years of hard work by the Project Delivery Team (PDT) members of the Highways Development & Management Initiative (HDMI), most of whom are now being transmuted as members of the Contract Management Team (CMT). We expect that the same hard work you brought to bear on the Contract Preparatory Stages would be doubled at this critical stage of Contract Implementation.”

Umahi, similarly said “the idea of including Senior Executive Management representation from each Concessionaire on the CMT is to ensure seamless workings and interactions. I, therefore, I wish to advise the Concessionaires to accord the CMT, which they are already a part of, the maximum cooperation that is needed. As we are aware, the Value for Money (VFM) generated through PPPs depends on the quality of the private partner and the government’s contract management systems and teams”

The Hon. Minister concluded “To the Government side, please, accord this assignment the utmost attention it deserves and not be in the erroneous belief that these concessions (contract) will be self-regulating and self-reporting. Your terms of reference (TOR) will nonetheless be explained to you in due course, and it will be tied to the task of liaising with the Concessionaire on matters relating to the management of the Contract. You are therefore required to be proactive and guide these contracts to Financial Close and Project Implementation, accordingly. “

The Permanent Secretary of Works Ministry Mr Mahmuda Mammam in his opening remarks said “The HDMI was created by the Ministry to manage and develop the federal road networks, with the aim of attracting sustainable investment and funding in the development of road infrastructure and maximization of the use of assets along the right of way (ROW).”

He said “the Initiative is expected to amongst others, bring order, accountability, and profitable entrepreneurship to the operations, management, and maintenance of Federal Highways. The following Twelve (12) roads were initially planned for concession under the first phase of the Initiative, namely: Benin – Asaba; Abuja– Lokoja; Kano – Katsina; Onitsha – Owerri – Aba;Shagamu –Benin; Abuja -Keffi –Akwanga; Kano – Maiduguri; Lokoja – Benin; Enugu-Port Harcourt; Ilorin-Jebba; Lagos-Abeokuta; and Lagos-Badagry. However, only Nine (9) of the roads attained Commercial Close.”

The Head of Public Private Partnership (PPP) , Mrs Abimbola Asein Federal Ministry of Works rolled out the names of the membership of the HDMI Contract Management Team which include some departments in Works Ministry and Federal Ministry of Justice , Federal Ministry of Environment , Federal Road Maintenance Agency , Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commision , Bureau of Public Enterprise , Debt Management Office and Ministry of Finance

Director Transport Infrastructure of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC ) Mohammed Aliyu Bamali who spoke on behalf of Director General , ICRC said “ FG and the Commission considered it expedient for Ministry of Works to set up CMT to serve as the main oversight on the implementation of HDMI projects”

He said “CMT is to carry out the following jobs : efficient management of contract ; that parties strictly keep to the terms and conditions of contract in fulfillment of the financial obligation, project specification and provisions of relevant documents eg performance bond , insurance and tax etc ;To collate and analyze report of concessionaire as well as conduct periodic visits to the project sites ; address the various needs and expectations of all stakeholders in executing the projects; establish effective communication channels that are active and collaborative; Communicate project deliverables to stakeholders and to ensure timely resolution of projects challenges to avoid dispute that will affect project implementation of the contract.

The Concessionaires appreciated members of the HDMI Committee for a job well done and appreciated the resolution, they said “ if they had not done their work things wouldn’t have been the way they are for the benefit of Nigerians”

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