Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has performed the groundbreaking for the construction of a state-of-the-art state secretariat complex estimated at over N6.9bn.
Engineer 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 (MDAs).
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.
“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,” he said.
Engineer Sule added that, at 27, Nasarawa State has come of age and deserves a befitting secretariat at will portray her image as a viable, vibrant resource endowed state given its strategic location in the North Central geo-political zone and proximity to the FCT.
“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.
“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,” Engineer Sule explained.
While restating the commitment of his administration to continue to pursue the desired condition for working environment for the realization of set objectives, he assured that the state government will also sustain its endeavor in the provision of welfare and succour to the teeming civil servants for enhanced productivity to guarantee quality delivery.
The Governor expressed optimism that with more resources coming to the state, his administration may be able to complete the entire project.
“We just realized some resources coming into the state. May complete the entire project before the end of his tenure. As well as duplicate so many other programmes in other places. These are the kinds of opportunities that God continue to give Nasarawa State and we will be grateful to the Almighty Allah for what he has done for us,” he stated.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Works, Mr Pola Zegi, described the project as the signature project of the Engineer 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 finished 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.
In a goodwill message, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe, commended Engineer Sule for his aggressive pursuit to bring development to the state.
“For a majority of us, we are not surprised by the massive support you received in the last gubernatorial election. This is because the majority of the people of Nasarawa State come to understand who is Engineer Abdullahi Sule and what does he stands for. Engineer Sule stands for transparency, he stands for hard work, he stands for sincerity and he stands for the fear of God.
“For me who has the privilege of heading one arm of government, that is coming to an end on 31st of May, I will attest to the fact that we have never had it so good in Nasarawa State. In the course of carrying out our oversight functions, we have transverse virtually all the 13 LGAs and we have seen all the projects cut across all those LGAs ” the speaker said.
Also in a 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.
Represented at the event by the Andoma of Doma, HRH Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu Oga Onawo, said the traditional rulers have proudly alligned with the Governor to provide the needed support and psychological background essential to service delivery by his government.