Resulting from the petitions of Isoko Monitoring Group (IMG) and Armour Udemude, through his lawyer as well as the incessant media agitations from patriotic sons and daughters of the Isoko extraction to the Delta State government on the poor job execution of Ikpide-Irri internal roads construction by PORTPLUS LIMITED, the Delta State Commissioner for Works, Hon. James Augoye, Delta State Director of the Ministry of Works, delegation of IMG led by Engr. Otete Darlington and media Correspondents paid an on the spot assessment visit to Ikpide-Irri community on 16th of August, 2018 to inspect the state of the job and to verify the claims of IMG and Armor Udemude as contained in various petitions.
After the 3 hours thorough inspection of the job, paying attention to flash points, especially areas captured in all petitions and subjecting them to extensive debate between the Senior Engineer from the Ministry of Works (Director of Works) and Engr. Otete Darlington of the Isoko Monitoring Group, the following was instructed by the Hon. Commissioner for Works:
1. A re-excavation of the entire road because the road was already sand filled to same level with the drain and there was no sign of rods from the drain showing continuity / reinforcement to align with the casting of the road. Engr. Otete earlier argued that since there was no sign of continuity, that was the only option left and the Contractor acknowledged by saying the filling was temporary to enable them to carry their equipment’s/materials to the starting point since they are working from IN to OUT of the community.
2. The Project Engineer couldn’t state the standard / specification used for construction of culverts but rather his response when asked for clarification was “CULVERTS ARE TEMPORARY”. Commissioner for Works then recommended all culverts should be reconstructed and that the ring culverts specified in the BEME be used except the changes are communicated, reviewed and approved with new specifications issued by the ministry. Findings carried out by IMG lead Speaker, Engr. Otete Darlington also revealed that the size of rods was 10mm while spacing between the rods was 200mm against 150mm spacing for both members and distribution beam which is below the minimum standard practice in swamping areas.
3. The Honourable Commissioner also approved that a “SCHMIDT HAMMER TEST” should be carried out on 2 other culverts that looks solid to confirm their integrity if they were constructed to engineering standard / specification practices on similar terrain since the Director of Works stated clearly that they were not informed about any change in design specified in BEME which is Ring culverts. Otherwise, they should all be demolished and reconstructed to specification as contained in BEME.
4. The one-sided Drainage was not constructed on some part of the project. The Honourable Commissioner mandated that the part of the road without drainage be scoped immediately and records transmitted to his office for action.
5. The Honourable Commissioner also immediately approved the request and plea of IMG to include a second drainage on the road construction due to the flooding nature of the area. This is to enable evacuation of water from the higher side of the community when it rains and to also serve as support/reinforcement to the road after surfacing to prevent erosion/ movement of the earth due to road traffic. Hon. James Augoye demanded that the Director of the Ministry of Works should carry out the costing and report to him immediately for onward action.
6. The Community Observers also complained about their concrete mixed saying it was ratio 1:13:14 but the project Surveyor who claimed they are doing a team work deny it saying “We are working according to specification which is 1:2:4 ratio of aggregates. A further walk around to point of concrete work clearly shows the concrete mixture was poor as sand was clearly showing on the just casted surface. However, the Hon. Commissioner advised Portplus Limited staff to do what is right even when no one is watching.
7. The Commissioner also reaffirm that when the Contractor who he will invite officially reports in his office next week, issues of youths of the community not being carried along in the project will be trashed. He also expressed his disappointed over a 71yrs old man acting as the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) to the company and that it will be addressed