The contracting firm handling the Delta State multi-billion naira state secretariat complex has disclosed that construction of the project will be completed before the end of September 2020.
This is as the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has also announced that the ultra-modern secretariat would be ready for inauguration in October.
This new time frame however falls short of an earlier disclosure by Governor Okowa that the complex will be ready in July.
Speaking with journalists on Friday shortly after inspecting the project, Okowa expressed satisfaction with the level of work on the project in spite of delay occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the contracting firm to sustain the pace of work.
He said that the internal works being done were laudable and promised to visit the site in the next four weeks with view to ensuring that project was inaugurated for workers to use as projected.
The governor pointed out that all papers relating to more logistics and funding of the complex had been approved, and pledged to ensure that nothing hindered the completion of the project on schedule.
On the provision of electricity for the gigantic edifice and other government offices in Asaba, the governor disclosed that government was partnering a private firm to handle the supply.
He expressed optimism that the issue of power would be delivered soon so as to make the edifice and other government offices more comfortable for workers to give their best in productivity.
Conducting the governor round various sections of the edifice, the representative of the contracting firm, Mr Kester Ifeadi, said that everything needed for the project to be completed was already.
He assured the governor that the project would be completed before the end of September.
Ifeadi commended the governor for his support towards the early completion of the project and said that the work would be completed in line with contractual agreement.
The governor was accompanied by the Commissioner for Housing, Chief Festus Ochonogor and his counterpart in Special Duties, Dr. Henry Sakpra.
Recall that on March 12, 2020, Governor Okowa informed that the project will be completed in July as against the intended completion billed for the month of May.
He stated that outbreak of the novel coronavirus had altered the completion date as out of 40 Chinese workers expected to handle special aspects of the project at the site, 20 could not leave their country before the outbreak of the virus.
The Governor while speaking to newsmen at that time said, “I am pleased with the level of work being done at the site, obviously we are delayed but we have gotten the explanation from the contractors who said they work on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I am happy with the quality of the work; it is perfect and we are hoping and praying that they would be able to gain time and finish on time and we are having a shift of the completion date now to July.
“We were thinking that the project would be completed at the end of May, but we are now looking at July.
“It is obvious because, we have been told by the contractors that they were expecting more Chinese but because of the issues surrounding Coronavirus, they were unable to bring the last set of 20 people.
“So, it is only the initial 20 that came that are involved in the work and it is obviously slowing them down.
“We understand that it is an issue that is health-related and we cannot afford to force them to do something that is not in the best interest of our country, but we look forward to the July completion date”.