• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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One week after anniversary, Fubara rolls out N74.9bn to rebuild demolished Assembly auditorium, road, hospitals

One week after anniversary, Fubara rolls out N74.9bn to rebuild demolished Assembly auditorium, road, hospitals

The award of mega projects may have resumed in Rivers State one week after the 20-day celebrations of Gov Sim Fubara’s one year in office. The masses seemed to celebrate the avalanche of projects in the run-in of the first year.

Apparently encouraged, the embattled governor who may have found that awarding projects was a better way to win the battle facing him, has resumed the award of mega projects. The first beneficiary is the demolished Rivers State House of Assembly auditorium which would gulp over N19Bn.

The state executive council also approved contracts for the reconstruction of the Kalaibiama/Epellema Road, and completion of four zonal hospitals across the State.

Also approved is the renovation of Bonny General Hospital; renovation and upgrade of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Rumuigbo; as well as construction of new General Hospital at Rumuigbo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State, according to a statement released by Nelson Chukwudi, chief press secretary (CPS) to Gov Fubara.

The statement put the costs thus: Assembly Auditorium N19.56bn; Kalaibiama-Epellema Road and bridge in Opobo-Nkoro Local Government Area N29.036bn; hospitals N26.35bn.

The zonal hospitals are located in Ahoada Town in Ahoada Local Government; Degema Town in Degema Local Government; Omoku Town in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government; and Bori Town in Khana Local Government Area.

The State Government said that it decided to complete the construction of the zonal hospitals in four Local Government Areas of the State in order to strengthen the secondary level healthcare service delivery to the people of the State.

Approval was also given for the cancellation of all previous contracts awarded for the construction of those zonal hospitals.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Commissioner for Health, Adaeze Oreh, said the approval was sequel to the memos presented by the Ministry of Health to the State Executive Council.

Specifically, Oreh said the ministry requested for the termination of all existing contracts for those zonal hospitals in the State, and the re-awarding of fresh contracts that would enable completion of the projects, including the renovation of the Bonny General Hospital.

Oreh stated that there was also the request for the renovation and upgrade of the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital and the construction of a new General Hospital at Rumuigbo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State.

She said, “We are thankful to the Rivers State Executive Council that the various decisions sought and prayers that were made by the Rivers State Ministry of Health for the approvals were approved.

“This also included the construction of a new General Hospital at Rumuigbo, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, which were not among those initially awarded for renovation.”

She emphasised that competent contractors would also be mobilized to site.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Ministry of Special Projects, Roland Obed-Whyte, said his ministry presented two memos that requested for the award of separate contracts. He mentioned the contractors and the costs of the projects.

“This Rivers State House of Assembly Building Complex is made up of about 34 en-suite offices, two storey buildings with elevator, gallery, meeting rooms and conference hall.

“It also includes the renovation and refurbishing of other existing structures within the House of Assembly Complex. It also includes the provision of ambulance and other external works.”

Obed-Whyte explained that by the time the work on the Rivers State House of Assembly building is completed, it will turn out to be one of the very best Assembly complexes in the country.

Also, Obed-Whyte said the second memo that was presented to the State Executive Council requested for the approval of the contract for the award of the construction of the 5.75 Km long Kalaibiama-Epellema Road, with a 450 meters length of bridge and carriageway of 10.3 meters with solar lights.

“Again, in these two contracts, 30 percent mobilization is to be paid as an advance payment. We believe strongly that when that road is completed, it will connect over four or five communities within that axis, and the issue of boat mishap and its attendant problems that riverine transportation faces will be a thing of the past.”

Obed-Whyte said the governor is determined with his mantra of “Rivers First” to open up the coastal areas with what he is doing on the Trans-Kalabari Road project, adding that with this project in the Opobo axis, the people will be the greatest beneficiaries.

In her presentation, the acting Director General of Rivers State Bureau for Public Procurement (RSBOPP), Ine Briggs, said due diligence has been done by the agency in scrutinising the projects and the cost efficiency, adding that after due diligence was conducted, the agency issued certificates of no objection to each of the projects.

She said, “The consideration of all these projects approved today by the Rivers State Executive Council, the Bureau is glad to inform the general public that it has duly carried out its regulatory function in ensuring that value for money has been met, economy has been met, fitness for purpose has been met in defending the stakeholders’ position in expenditure of fund from the State.

“So, the Bureau has issued a certificate of no objection for the two projects from the Ministry of Special Projects and the projects for the Ministry of Health.

“The Bureau wants to assure the public that it will carry out its oversight functions at ensuring that quality specifications as enshrined in the approvals, would be met, and the people will feel their government, and that is our assurance as a regulatory body.”