The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has set machinery in motion to fast-track the completion of its multi-billion naira 13-floor permanent headquarters building at the Eastern By-Pass, Port Harcourt.
The Managing Director of the commission, Mr. Nsima Ekere, gave impetus to the process on Wednesday when he handed over the project to a new contractor at the site of the headquarters complex.
Ekere, who was represented by the NDDC Director of Project Monitoring and Supervision, Mr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, charged the new contractor, Messrs Rodnab Construction Limited, to ensure that the project was completed in the envisaged 52 weeks.
He recalled that contract for the main building was awarded in 2010 to Marshland Projects Nigeria Limited, while that of the four-floor ancillary building was awarded in 2014 in four lots.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said when the current board of the commission took over in November 2016, it decided to fast-track the project. Hence, he said, the management thought it wise to inject a new lease of life into the project.
According to Ekere, the commission promptly set up a committee headed by the Executive Director, Projects, Dr Samuel Adjogbe, to work out the modalities for the speedy completion of the project. He said that the committee amicably disengaged Marshland Projects Limited and other contractors for the other lots in June 2017.
He said: “We started a new process of getting the contract re-awarded. That took us to the Bureau of Public Procurement for a no-objection certificate. After that, the process went to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in December 2017. The FEC approved the re-award of the project and this paved way for NDDC to engage Rodnab after a bidding process. The company fulfilled all the requirements before a letter of re-award was issued to them.”
Ekere said that the scope of work for the new contract included the completion of the 13-floor main building, the 4-floor ancillary building, as well as the external works.
He assured the company that the NDDC would give it all the support necessary to ensure that the project was completed expeditiously, warning that the commission would not compromise on quality and adherence to the approved designs.
The NDDC boss appealed to the host community to cooperate with the contractor, noting that development was a gradual process.
“If the NDDC headquarters moves to this place, it will open up a lot of business opportunities for the communities around here,” he said.
Ekere also assured the people in the area that they would be engaged in executing the remaining part of the contract.
Speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director of Rodnab Construction Limited, Mr. Piero Allfranchino, said that his company would endeavour to complete the project within the specified time. He pleaded that for cooperation from the host community.