LIRA-The authorities in Lira City have given the contractor more seven months to tarmac five major roads under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructures Development [USMID] Programme financed by the World Bank.
The Shs 35 billion contract was awarded to Abubakari Technical Services in a joint venture with M/S Al-Nuami Group.
The contract was signed in April 2021 and was due to run for 15 months but over-delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown but would later kick off on November 1, 2021.
The contract expired on August 10, 2022, sparking off an outburst from a section councilors whether the contractor has the capacity to accomplish the work. They claimed the contractor has accomplished only 30 percent of the work.
The roads being worked on include Uhuru Park, Obangakene, Bala, Noteber, Olwol, Boundary road including Children Park at Adyel, and completion of Coronation Park.
Last month five city councilors raised concern over the slow progress of the construction works and demanded that the contract be terminated and given to another firm.
The councilors were Mike Ogwal, Mugisha James, Ogwal Bala, Daniel Okello (Speaker Lira City West), and Patrick Awongo.
But days ago, the city mayor, Sam Atul, said in consultation with the city engineer and technical team they have agreed to extend the contract for seven months.
“Out of the seven months we added, we shall deduct 45 days which we gave before reaching the common position,” Atul said.
James Omara Elem, the City secretary for finance and administration said the contractor tabled before them four reasons for the extension.
The reasons include encumbrances such as buildings and wall fences erected on the road reserves, effects of COVID-19, delayed in mobilising equipment, relocation of utilities, and delays in architectural drawing.
The project started in 2013 in 14 municipalities and cities, which include Fort Portal, Hoima, Kabale, Mbarara, Arua, Lira, Masaka, Entebbe, Jinja, Tororo, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, and Gulu.
In 2019, it added eight, Lugazi, Kasese, Kamuli, Mubende, Apac, Kitgum, Ntungamo, and Busia to make a total of 23 municipalities and cities.
Its target was to enhance institutional performance, which include revenue collection, service delivery among others.
“Negotiating and convincing people erected wall fence on the road like along Boundary road, took them about 200 days,” Omara said.
He said by March 19, 2023, according to the new extension plan, they expect the work to be accomplished and handed over to them.
“They wanted 11 months but we refused because we are also under pressure from the communities and businessmen,” he said.
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