Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said it will complete the new headquarters of the commission in Port Harcourt by the fourth quarter of 2019.
This is as the commission also renewed its drive to fast-track the completion of its projects spread across the nine Niger Delta states, especially the big ticket projects that will transform the region significantly.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, set the tone for the plans to drive development efforts while inspecting the new 12-floor permanent headquarters complex of the commission at the Eastern Bye-Pass in Port Harcourt Tuesday.
The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, who inspected work on the new headquarters alongside the Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, described the project as “fantastic”.
He said: “You know that our first objective is to provide a conducive working environment for people working in NDDC. From what I have seen, my predecessors have done very well but we will improve on what they have done and with all things being equal, by the fourth quarter of this year, we might be able to call all the nine governors to come here and commission this edifice.”
Brambaifa charged NDDC contractors handling other on-going projects to take a cue from the work going on at the new headquarters, urging them to take their jobs seriously.
“The earlier they can meet up with the milestones, the better for their payments. There is money available to pay them and there is no point sitting at home and expecting to be paid,” he said.
The NDDC boss said the commission was anxious to complete the headquarters project to add value to the work of the NDDC towards meeting its mandate, adding that this was in line with the resolve of the new management of the Commission to promptly complete all on-going projects.
The NDDC Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, commended the contractors for doing a good job, noting that the quality of work was high and the completion target of the last quarter of this year was achievable.
Adjogbe observed that there had been modifications on the scope of the project which had invariably impacted the cost.
He assured them that the NDDC would provide all the financial support necessary to ensure that the project was completed expeditiously, stating that the Commission would not compromise on quality and adherence to the approved designs.
He stated: “We will make out time to visit other locations to inspect the projects and to see what issues that need to be addressed. In this particular project, we have been able to identify the critical areas to tackle. This includes the need to address the issue of paying contractors who supplied some of the items so they can release them for installation.”
The Project Manager, Ebiwene Bozimo, assured the NDDC boss that the targets set for the completion of the office complex would be met if funds were released at the appropriate timelines.
He said that work at the main office complex was now at finishing level, while work was progressing satisfactorily on the ancillary structures, comprising facilities such as a medical centre, restaurant, bank and car parks, among others