TOP
Sunday,October 25,2020 08:24 AM

Pakwach project delayed

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd October 2003 03:00 AM

DISAGREEMENT over a Chinese company’s credibility, has delayed the contract award for Olwiyo-Pakwach Road project in northern Uganda.

DISAGREEMENT over a Chinese company’s credibility, has delayed the contract award for Olwiyo-Pakwach Road project in northern Uganda.

By Yunusu Abbey

DISAGREEMENT over a Chinese company’s credibility, has delayed the contract award for Olwiyo-Pakwach Road project in northern Uganda.

Black & Veatch (B&V) Africa, the project consultants, had said the job should be given to China Chongqing International Corporation (CICO) which emerged the lowest-evaluated bidder for the World Bank-funded project. B&V is a South African firm.

“Black & Veatch have accordingly recommended that this contract be awarded to CICO in the absence of any information concerning the contract at a price after correction for arithmetic errors of sh26,535,698,809, with 79.74% payable in dollars and 20.26% payable in shillings,” said a January 2003 bid evaluation report.

The 62.5km Olwiyo-Pakwach Road, is one of the key projects named in President Yoweri Museveni’s 2001 election manifesto. It is a section of the Karuma-Pakwach-Arua Road, which the Government is upgrading to first- class tarmac.

But the donor-funded Road Agency Formation Unit (RAFU), which supervises major road projects in the country, has since rejected the consultant’s recommendation and questioned CICO’s credibility. The Chinese now want Museveni to intervene in the nine-month-old dispute.

The evaluated bid price difference between CICO’s and the second-lowest bidder (Sogea-Satom-Spencon Services Ltd. (SS&SS) Joint Venture, is about sh3b.

SS&SS of France and Uganda’s Spencon Services Ltd.JV, were the second-lowest at sh29b, while the Israeli-owned SBI International Holdings quoted sh38.9b. Bids were opened in Kampala on October 22 last year.

RAFU, which falls under the works ministry, claims CICO had connections with SIETCO or the same old Chinese company now operating under a different name.

In a May 7, 2003 letter to Dr. Yitzhak Kamhi, the World Bank Transport Team leader, Peter Robinson, the RAFU director, said the Ugandan Government was not ready to enter any further contracts with SIETCO due to past experience.

Robinson, now replaced by Bernard Sperring, as RAFU director, cited the Owen Falls Dam extension project where SIETCO’s contract was terminated due to alleged shoddy work.

“As far as RAFU is concerned, no decision has been made yet.

However, we hope to come out with a verdict by end of October or early November this year,” Sperring said on Wednesday.

Sperring attributed the delayed contract award to evaluation of other project bids, which RAFU is currently handling.

But CICO has denied RAFU’s allegations. In a December 19, 2002 letter to RAFU, CICO contested the alleged link with SIETCO.

CICO said it did not have any connection with SIETCO. It said it was purely an independent company. It has never undertaken any Ugandan projects (Roads and Owen Falls Dam) as RAFU claims; but only seconded its staff to SIETCO “and they are still CICO staff.”

Niu Hong, CICO’s country representative, said they had capacity to do the Olwiyo-Pakwach Road.

“We have an experience of over 20 years in road construction. We have had successful contracts in Tanzania and Sudan. Unless they want to use tricks to give the job to another company,”he said.

The South African consultants had said the second lowest bidder (Sogea-Satom-Spencon Services JV),was 6.3% higher, while the third was 50.1% higher.

But in the May 7,2003 letter to World Bank, Robinson said RAFU does not concur with B&V’s recommendation.”There are several issues in CICO’s bid and related correspondence that raise our concern,” he said.

Pakwach project delayed

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author