Work on the multi-storey permanent headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been stepped up as the contractors appear set to deliver the project in the first quarter of 2015, even as the Ministry of Environment has challenged the contractors to comply fully with the Environmental Impact Assessment, (EIA), for the multi-million naira project.
Members of the NDDC Governing board, who inspected the building project recently, set a target of April, 2015 for the completion of the headquarters complex. The building which was initiated by the defunct Oil Minerals Producing Area Development Commission, OMPADEC, is being fast-tracked by the current Board of the NDDC.
Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work of the building. He said that the project was very special to the commission and as such would be funded appropriately to facilitate its early completion. “My only concern is the pace of work. There is need for the contractor to step up activities at the site to enable him meet the target we have set. It is not going to be easy, but we will keep reviewing the work plan as the need arises,” the chairman said.
Giving his own impression, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDDC, Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the commission considered it necessary and important to provide a conducive working environment for its staff. He noted that the project had been on for the past 10 years, thus necessitating the urgency which the current Board was attached to its completion.
Bassey Dan-Abia said, “Funding challenges will not deter us because we see the project as part of our contribution to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. Above all, we have been managing the resources available to us prudently.”
He further explained that the headquarters complex would include other ancillary facilities such as a medical centre, car park, restaurant, bank, among others.
The Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, who is also a member of the NDDC Governing Board representing the federal ministry of environment, charged the contractors to adhere strictly to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project. She said that her ministry would insist on full compliance with the specifications outlined in the EIA.
The project coordinator, Architect Felix Darko, gave assurances to the NDDC Board members that the building would be completed on schedule and according to the required standards and specifications