• Thursday, May 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Gombe International Conference Centre – something to cheer

businessday-icon

It is great to say, “I will do great things.” It is greater to do great things. The art of governance is one to be approached with uttermost care, for it is neither for the faint-hearted nor the dim-witted. It is not for the impetuous; it is not for the flippant, either. It is for the circumspect and active individual, a person who tries to stay objective at all times, as much as the human nature can permit. It is an avenue for the elected to prove that he has the people at the centre of his every decision and policy.

The decision of the Gombe State government to erect an edifice, the Gombe International Conference Centre along Bauchi Road, Gombe, on March 16, 2013, is one decision that has sat well with the people. It is an indication that the governor has his eyes set on making the lives of the people better in every ramification – this is without gainsaying.

The centre, which had its foundation-laying done by the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, will be second only to Abuja in everything except location. When completed, it is going to be the second in the country (after Abuja, that is).

In an age of smartphones and every form of accessories, the centre will not be an exception. Rather, it will be an epitome of what a 21st century conference centre should be. The hi-tech conference centre will provide speedy internet access, the best bandwidth required for interactive work and able to handle the projected degree of information generated. The centre will provide an avenue for conference-holders and all other users to amplify their activities via high-quality audio-visual LEDs and speakers, as well as digital video systems which make for excellent network connectivity.

The centre, when fully constructed, will boast state-of-the-art facilities, galleries, mini halls, administrative offices, restaurant, tea-room, out-door sitting arrangements and uninterrupted power supply (which will be provided by two 250-KVA standby power generators).

The project, awarded to Messrs Vidro Nigeria Ltd., to the tune of N2.7bn, is not a government gimmick. It is, by all standards, a ‘clean’ project, one which will be completed in April 2015, thirty months from now. It will be a project for which very little expense is spared, very different from the seedy town hall.

Most interesting and heart-warming is the economic and commercial benefit which this 1,500-capacity conference centre will attract to the state’s coffers, directly and otherwise. Going by the number and calibre of political confabs, dinners, launches, reviews, graduation parties, workshops, awards and other strategic get-togethers which will be drawn to the centre at its completion, only the myopic will fail to see where all these will leave the state when the project is completed. This is besides other socio-economic benefits which will be evident. Thanks to its proximity to the state’s airport, the centre will be very easy to access. The centre will provide patronage for the hotels which will have to be booked when the centre comes under use during events. This centre will transform the state into a commercial hub and prompt development into the surrounding towns and villages (roads, lock-up stalls and the likes). It will only attract occasions for which it will be built – those of international proportions and more – nothing less.

Most important, the centre will provide a couple of jobs, because there will be need for an on-ground staff who will help to keep it in top shape and prevent it from going to seed.

Everyone who knows what the International Conference Centre has done for Abuja can only visualise and understand what the state stands to gain from erecting such a similar edifice. I daresay the centre will be more technology-compliant than the one in Abuja, going by the difference in the time of construction and the technological needs of its time. While Abuja is an architectural masterpiece of its time, the Gombe International Centre will be a point of reference in 21st century Nigeria.

This is something to cheer about. It is enough reason to roll out the drums. It is another plus for the state governor who aspires to leave the people better than he found them, if and when he does leave office.

He did promise the people better things. That was great. Now he is doing better things – that, I daresay, is greater. There is so much power in speech, but there is greater power in action, for it stirs the embers of belief and fans the passions which give way to trust. 

 

Junaidu is special assistant to the

 

Send reactions to:

[email protected]/en