Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) yesterday awarded the contract for construction of the Busega-Mpigi Expressway to a consortium of Chinese companies, among them China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway 19th Bureau Group Company Limited.
UNRA executive director Allen Kagina, said yesterday the companies were evaluated after CMC Di Ravenna/Advent, which was initially evaluated as best bidder, ran into financial headwinds.
The procurement team went back to the drawing board and reviewed the bids after revelations of CMC Di Ravenna/Advent’s insolvency.
The project is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Together with AfDB, we agreed to review bids and zeroed down on the second qualified based on the documents they submitted. Lucky for us the price CCECC quoted was within our range,” Ms Kagina said.
Yesterday’s events marked the end of a tumultuous procurement process in which, according to Ms Kagina, they were beset by an unusually high number of complaints from whistleblowers which delayed the process.
Following the numerous complaints, the Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja directed the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority to investigate the process following numerous whistle-blower complaints that the bid documents submitted by CMC Di Ravenna/Advent were inconsistent with the bidder’s name where the company is registered.
Later, the PPDA released a report indicating that CMC Di Ravenna/Advent, which UNRA had selected to construct the road, had inconsistencies in its bid documents.
The 23.7km Busega-Mpigi Expressway is one of the major thoroughfares that has been on UNRA’s to do list.
The road seeks to drive traffic out of the heavily congested and polluted capital-Kampala, to the west. Construction of the Shs547b road is expected to take 36 months, and another 12 defects liability period.
Design and Structure of the Busega-Mpigi Expressway
The expressway will be built as a four lane, dual carriage way.
It will include four major interchanges to facilitate interconnection at designated points at Nabbingo, Nsangi, Maya and Lugala in Wakiso District off both the Northern Bypass and the Entebbe-Expressway, whose expansion and construction, respectively is ongoing.
The road is part of the Northern Corridor, a transport network of East Africa’s landlocked states—Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, and starts from Kenya’s Mombasa Port.
According to Ms Kagina, UNRA had also signed on board a consultant firm that will be responsible for design review and supervision of the project.
The contract price for the consultant is $3.1m (Shs11b) and Shs3.1b.Ms Kagina further revealed that 64 per cent of the project right way is currently available for the contractor to start work.
According to UNRA records there are some 490 affected persons on the project.
CCECC’s managing director, Wang Li, said they hoped to complete the project within time.