Governor Abdullahi Sule, flag-off construction of state secretariat in Lafia.

Cecilia Onah, Lafia

Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule has performed the groundbreaking for the construction of a state secretariat complex estimated at over N6.9 billion.

Sule performed the groundbreaking at a colourful ceremony at the site of the project, located along Shendam Road, Lafia, on Friday.

According to the Governor, the project is in line with the commitment of his administration to provide conducive working environment especially for Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The project, which was designed by local engineers and contracted to indigenous contractors, will however be executed in phases, with the first phase, billed at over N2bn already ongoing, comprising of the offices of Secretary to the State Government, as well as that of the Head of Service.

He said, “As you are aware, since the inception of this administration, one of our major priorities is the provision of befitting office accommodation for government MDAs.

“This we have continued to pursue with zeal and vigor realizing that without conducive working environment, it will be a herculean task for the service to initiate policies and programmes of government and facilitate their implementation for the development of our own society.

“This edifice will cover 35 hectares and is designed into ground floor, first floor and second floor comprising office of the SSG and that of the HOS and then the various ministries and auxiliary buildings.

“The phase one is awarded to Messrs Shelter Development Construction Limited at the cost of N2, 969, 397. 15 with completion period of eight months.

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“This project is being handled by a local consultant. And the design was made by the same local consultant. The construction is also being carried out by a highly reputable construction company which is also local.

“They have demonstrated capacity and are undertaking jobs at various places across the country.”

The Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Works, Mr Pola Zegi, described the project as the signature project of the Governor Sule administration, stressing that the process for the award of the contract was open, transparent and a demonstration of the aggressive passion the Governor has for the development of the state.

On his part, the consultant handling the project, Hussain Egyebola, said the project comprises of 16 ministerial blocks, arranged in clusters of two, with the model and concept such that there won’t be need to wait until the completion of the entire project before ministries will begin to occupy the structure.

“It means therefore as soon as we finish any ministerial block, His Excellency can commission it and be put to use. Therefore, it means that while the work is ongoing, civil servants will have appropriate working environment to do their jobs.

“The project will be in phases. Offices of the SSG, Head of Service and of course the Ministry of Finance. These have been started because of their importance and what they can offer to the bureaucracy. By November we should finish this phase and then we can take off another phase,” he said.

Earlier, in his goodwill message, the Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Traditional Council, HRH Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad (rtd), assured the Governor of the continued support of the traditional council in the state.