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Lagos-Ibadan road: FG remobilises Julius Berger to site

The Federal Government has remobilised Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to commence work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

It was gathered that the firm was expecting huge payment from the Federal Government following the signing of the 2018 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, after it was passed by the National Assembly.

Senior officials of Julius Berger on Monday reiterated the position of the firm’s Managing Director, Wolfgang Goetsch, as regards the remobilisation by the Federal Government, but insisted that it was not within the purview of the construction firm to reveal the amount involved to the public.

They explained that it was against the contractual terms for the firm to state the amount to the press.

The officials, however, noted that the company had been remobilised and was expecting sizeable financial outlay from the government since the 2018 budget had been passed and signed by the President.

At the 48th Annual General Meeting of Julius Berger in Abuja, Goetsch assured users of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that the firm would hasten the reconstruction of the road, noting that it could not work on the project site during the dry season due to some challenges.

He said, “Yes, we are still handling the Lagos-Ibadan road project. Unfortunately, in the last dry season, we did not work, which is also not technically good. But now is the raining season and since the government has remobilised us, we are expecting a huge payment since the budget has been signed.

“And when the huge payment is done, we can deliver more. But it also falls on appeal to the government that we need money ahead of time.”

Julius Berger is handling a section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway from the old toll gate in Lagos to the Sagamu interchange, and it experienced a tough but productive year in 2017, as explained by Goetsch at the AGM.

Goetsch stated that the company achieved a positive turnaround with respect to cash flow and profitability in the 2017 financial year, adding, “I can definitively say that our company is on track for continued future success.”

In its annual report and financial statements for the year under review, the firm stated that it made a group profit of N4.77bn, in contrast to N3.01bn in 2016.

Goetsch noted that Julius Berger had intensified its business development efforts to further drive diversification and expansion into key sectors, adding that the firm had optimised its tendering process and was providing new concepts to manage foreign exchange risk.

He stated that the type of change the company embarked upon was one that “opens doors and unlocks potential, especially for the next generation, whose creativity and dynamics breed new possibilities.”