Regional hospitals too as Akwa brings hope to resume funding abandoned projects
* CEO orders contractors back to site
By Codratus Godson
Abandoned university hostels being built across the oil region by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) expected to alleviate sufferings of students may bounce back.
Strategic hospitals also being built in the region may see financial flow again for construction to resume.
This is because the Commission has promised to resume funding of such projects to ensure their completion. Most of them were initiated many years ago but the contractors abandoned work only to show up each time a new CEO of the NDDC barked orders.
Now, the Interim Administrator of the Commission, Efiong Akwa, has ordered contractors handling its projects to return to site immediately and complete the work for which they were engaged.
Speaking during the inspection the Niger Delta Region Specialist Hospital, at Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the NDDC CEO said that the Commission would not go back on the regional hospital project because of its strategic importance. He promised to pay for the milestones already achieved by the contractor to ensure that the project was completed.
The Interim Administrator, who was accompanied by Directors of the Commission, also inspected the 175-room University of Uyo Permanent site hostel in Uyo Local Government Area.
Akwa directed the contractors to report to the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt for a comprehensive evaluation of the constraints, which would assist in putting together of the necessary things to ensure the realisation of the projects.
The Structural Engineer for the regional hospital, Blessing Umoh, described the project as three-in-one complex that comprised Orthopaedic, Cardiovascular and Children/Maternity sections.
The contractor, Elder Mfoniso Essien, put the completion status at 26 per cent and appealed for the payment of outstanding Interim Payment Certificates, IPCs, to enable them return to site.
Inspecting the hostel project, Akwa stated that the NDDC was building similar hostels in other universities across the Niger Delta region. He, however, observed that a few of the projects were experiencing some hitches which would soon be resolved.
He regretted that the uncompleted university hostels, which were awarded many years ago, had for one reason or the other, remained stalled.
The NDDC boss assured that efforts were being made to review all the obstacles and take measures to ensure that the projects were completed. He said NDDC would assist universities in the region to ensure that their students undertake their studies in comfort, stating: “We are committed to doing whatever has to be done within our capacity to ensure that we add value to the educational system in the Niger Delta.”
He assured that the few NDDC hostel projects in the various universities in the Niger Delta region that were yet to be completed, would be re-activated as soon as possible and the contractors appropriately funded to return to site.
On the University of Uyo hostel, the Interim Administrator said that the NDDC was very eager to complete the project. He asked the contractor to submit his requirements for the continuation of the project, promising to ensure that he was paid for achieved milestones.
Briefing the NDDC boss, the Contractor, Arc. Emeka Maduka, said that the hostel project had largely been completed, leaving only external works and landscaping.
He said that the project had reached 80 per cent completion before it was stalled on account of funding challenges.