Rivers approves N74.9bn for assembly complex reconstruction, others

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The Rivers State Executive Council has approved N74.9bn for the reconstruction of the state House of Assembly auditorium, construction of Kalaibiama/Epellema Road, and completion of four zonal hospitals across the state.

Recall that the state House of Assembly was bombed in the wake of the political crisis in the state following the disagreement between the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike.

A few days after, there were attempts by about 27 lawmakers loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to impeach Fubara, a development that heightened the feud between the governor and his estranged political godfather.

Also approved by the state executive council was the renovation of Bonny General Hospital; the renovation and upgrade of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Rumuigbo; as well as the construction of a new General Hospital at Rumuigbo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Nelson Chukwudi, on Friday.

While the reconstruction of the demolished assembly auditorium in Port Harcourt, the state capital will cost N19, 566, 621, 284.24; the Kalaibiama-Epellema Road and bridge in Opobo-Nkoro Local Government Area will gulp N29,035,907,233.76; just as the hospitals will cost N26,350,310, 714.88.
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 to strengthen secondary-level healthcare delivery.

At its meeting presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara and attended by Deputy Governor, Prof Ngozi Odu, and other council members at Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, approval was also given for the cancellation of all previous contracts awarded for the construction of those zonal hospitals.

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

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

Oreh stated that there was also a 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 approval of the termination of the contracts for the completion of the zonal hospitals at Ahoada, Bori, Degema and Omoku, and the re-award of fresh contracts for their completion were approved.

“That the request to the State Executive Council for the approval of the award of these contracts in total summed up to N26, 350, 310, 714. 88k that was approved for the completion of those zonal hospitals, the renovation of Bonny General Hospital and the upgrade of the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital.

“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 explained that the State Executive Council also approved that following the termination of the previously awarded contracts, fresh contracts should be awarded to new competent contractors who have such capacity to deliver on those projects.

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She emphasised that such contractors would also be mobilized to the site so that they could commence construction work on those separate projects in the health sector to advance healthcare delivery in the State.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Special Projects, Dr Roland Obed-Whyte, said his ministry presented two memos that requested the award of separate contracts.

He said that the first was a request for the council’s approval for the award of a contract for the reconstruction and furnishing of the Rivers State House of Assembly Auditorium Complex.

He said, “This contract has been awarded to Monier Construction Company Nigeria Limited at the cost of N19, 566, 621, 284. 24 kobo with a completion duration of 9 Months.

“This Rivers State House of Assembly Building Complex is made up of about 34 ensuite offices, a storey building with an 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 best Assembly complexes in the country.

He added that the second memo that was presented to the State Executive Council requested the approval of the contract for the award of the construction of the 5.75km Kalaibiama-Epellema Road, with a 450m bridge and carriageway of 10.3m with solar lights.

He said, “It is awarded to Monier Construction Company Nigeria Limited (MCC) at the cost N29, 035, 907, 233.76 kobo with a completion duration of 12 months.
“Again, in these two contracts, 30 per cent 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.”

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Obed-Whyte said the governor was 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 to ensure 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.”

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