Alleged N135 million bribe stalls hostel project in Delta
HOPES of an early completion of the long-awaited 1000 bed-room hostel at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State may have been dashed following allegation by the project’s contractor, Shoreline Development International Ltd., that the governing council of the varsity illegally demanded a payment of N135 million as consultancy fee, thus frustrating completion of the project.
Already at 40 per cent of its completion under the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT), FUPRE authorities had already halt the project after the contractor allegedly paid N30 million consultancy fee.
Under the agreement, FUPRE was to contribute 20 per cent of the total cost while Shoreline Development International Ltd. was to source for the rest 80 per cent of the project, fixed in the region of N2.1 billion.
According to the acting Managing Director of Shoreline, Kenneth Chukwuma, “Shoreline was subsequently put under pressure from the university to pay a consultancy fee of N135 million to Mesrs.
Tonye Ojoko and Associates, architects and designers who designed the project. When Shoreline group asked for time to make the payment, the university allegedly resorted to all sorts of intimidating and frustrating moves to make Shoreline pay.”
He disclosed that the matter became worse when it was rumoured that the university’s governing council had been dissolved. “In utter violation of the agreement, the university wrote to the bank calling back their contribution of 20 per cent towards the project and thereafter wrote a termination letter to Shoreline.”
The contractors said the sudden termination of the contract was in violation of the partnership agreement in which Shoreline had 80 per cent equity and the university 20 per cent.