Contractor Abandons Road Construction

WORK on a 35-kilometre road from Okatana to Onunho was abandoned last year after the contractor claimed that the Road Authority (RA) had not paid it N$65 million.

The contract, won by Namibia Roads Products, was worth N$186 999 256 and was supposed to have been completed in February last year.

An RA 20122013 report shows that the project is at 5% and that work started in July 2012.Corporate communications manager at RA Hileni Fillemon told The Namibian on Monday that the construction of the road came to a standstill when the contractor abandoned the site late last year, but denied that the RA owes the contractor any money.

Fillemon said RA sincerely regrets the delay in completing the project. “However, we will fast-tract the appointment of a new contractor to complete the works.”

She said RA has terminated the contract with the contractor due to its inability to complete the works as per the contract. “We are currently busy with the process of appointing another contractor to complete the construction of the outstanding works on the road.”

Fillemon said the remaining work will have to be completed within 10 months, including the road over the rail bridge at Onhuno.

She pointed out that contractors who do not finish projects within the contract period are penalised.

“These penalties are deducted from the payment certificates of the contractors. In addition, if the contractor still does not perform after the completion date has lapsed, the RA then has the option of terminating the contract as per the signed agreement and appoint another contractor in accordance with the RA Procurement Policy and tender rules,” Fillemon said.

She said it must be noted that on termination, the RA will retain the performance guarantee which is submitted by the contractor.

NRP director Ferdinand Nghiyolwa who spoke to The Namibian denied that they have abandoned the site.

He said they left the site on 28 February 2015, because RA owes them N$65 million since July 2014.

“We left because there was no payment and there was no response from the claims we made. We couldn’t carry on without any payment,” he told The Namibian.

He said his company had already terminated the contract before AR’s official communication to Namibia Roads Products.

Nghiyolwa said NRP has submitted these claims and they will wait for an outcome from the Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB).

During a visit to Endola last week, The Namibian was approached by community members who complained that travelling has become extremely difficult for them because of the road’s deplorable condition.

Fillemon admitted that NRP submitted claims which are currently being handled by DAB.

Source : The Namibian