The Minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has reiterated government’s resolves to work assiduously with all involved in the construction of the Body of Benchers auditorium, to ensure that the project is completed by next year, as against its original November, 2014, completion deadline.
The minister, who noted that the project had delayed, spanning over seven years and running, said the contractors have reached about 80 percent completion.
She disclosed this while on an inspection visit to the project site located at the Institutions and Research District, Federal Capital City (FCC), Phase II, Abuja, on Monday.
Accompanied by the FCT permanent secretary, Engr. Obinna Chukwu, and other top management of the FCTA, Akinjide, who was conducted round the project by the Architect in charge of the project and top manager in the construction company, Arc M. B Bello and Mr. Benet Osuala respectively, identified some architectural errors in the building plan.
Peoples Daily reports that working drawings for the project covering q total 12 hectares land was designed and approved in April, 2008.
According to her, the conception of project was for the Body of Benchers who are the statutory body that manage legal profession in Nigeria, to have a befitting edifice for its programmes, especially during their annual Call to Bar ceremony, as well as other academic exercises.
In her words: “No doubt, the project had delayed, spanning over seven years and running. It’s obvious that the contractors are making progress, because it’s obvious to me that they have reached 80 percent completion.
“As part of our duty, President Goodluck Jonathan had directed that, as host Minister, we should embark on periodic oversight supervision of various federal and FCT project in the territory to ensure total compliance to specification.”
However, the Minister while acknowledging some architectural errors in the project; assured that that the FCT public buildings department will liaise with other relevant authorities and the project managers, as well as the construction company to thrash out the issues impinging on the interest of the public.
In a swift reaction to some of the observations made by the Minister, the project manager and the architect from the Associate Architect, promised to resolve them within the available time, to ensure quality job.
Meanwhile, the project supervisor with BNL limited, the contractors handling the project, Mr. Teddy Sutomo, who spoke to Peoples Daily, attributed the snail pace of the project to paucity of funds, administrative and logistic challenges, thereby affecting the timely delivery of the project, which was meant to provide a befitting atmosphere for legal practice in the country.
Sutomo, who made the disclosure on the sideline of the visit, decried that the continued delay in release of funds for the project, has greatly retarded their work.
“We are battling with the case of changes in prizes of construction materials, changing government policies, instability in exchange values and so many other challenges.
“The delay in release of funds had dealt with us seriously, imagine a project that we commenced over seven years ago , at contract sum of N11.8 billion, with variation of N1.6 billion which we have executed job of over N675 million,” the project supervisor noted.