Saturday, 27 September 2014

Abandoned Government House Construction: Anambra people demands explanation from Gov Obiano

Why did Anambra state Govt Abandoned its Govt House complex?
Okechukwu Onuegbu

one of the rooms Okechukwu Onuegbu went in

Indeed, government is like a market place where different individuals troop-in on daily basis just to actualise their myriads of needs and leave thereafter with little or no impact. In Nigeria, specifically, successive administrations hardly consolidate on the projects initiated by their predecessors while flagging off new ones.
This could be alluded to the pathetic story’s of over 3 billion naira Anambra state government house abandoned over fifteen years ago. Situated behind the popular Dr. Alex Ekwueme square, Awka, the state capital territory, the complex was meant to accommodate governor’s-office, lodge, guest houses and offices for Government House staff.
One of the buildings in the complex
According to Wikipedia (the online free encyclopedia), Former Military Administrator of the state, Colonel Mike Attah, in 1996 awarded the contract for N650 million to Chief Christian Uba, a businessman and renowned political godfather barely some days to termination of his tenure, and named it after Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first indigenous Governor General and President, who incidentally hails from Onitsha, the commercial nerve of the state.
However, unverified report added that in 1999, Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju, awarded the contract to a company originally owned by Anambra State born business mogul, Prince (Engr.) Arthur Eze, at cost of N300 million but somewhere along the line, Oil Construction Company of Chief Chris Uba, allegedly took over the job.
Our reporter further gathered that the contract sum was later reviewed upwards between 1999 and 2003, before it was finally deserted during the administration of Dr. Chris Ngige, who stopped the so-called controversial Irrevocable Payment Order (IPO) which entailed deduction of N10 million monthly from the state’s Federation Account to service the contract.
Also, when the immediate past governor, Mr. Peter Obi took over the mantle of leadership in 2006 after court battle to reclaim his stolen mandate, he renovated the current temporary Government House his predecessors earlier inhibited, located along old Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, and at present houses the incumbent Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and the state civil servants.
In a similar vein, barely one hundred days in office, Governor Obiano around June this year, flagged-off construction of what he termed “Three Arms Zone” ultra-modern complex to host the three arms of government, on a choice piece of land in Agu Awka, measuring 830 hectares.
Although reliable sources (in governor's office) claimed that the three arm zone was conceived by erstwhile governor Obi before his exit, Chief Obiano explained that the new government house which would host "the state Government House, Governor’s Lodge, the Ban­quet Hall and the House of Assembly" when completed, just as tenable at Abuja, the federal capital territory, adding that it was in fulfill­ment to his electioneering campaign promises to transform Awka to a befitting capital territory, comparable to any other capital in the advanced countries of the world.
On that note, Governor Obiano awarded the three arm zone to an indigenous company, IDC Construction Limited, with assurance that it would be completed within a year.
In a recent interview, the state Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Chief Lawrence Chinwuba lamented that the abandoned government house is lying waste, which according to him, makes no economic sense having sucked huge resources of the state.
He however, noted that the present administration would likely convert the complex to an arm of the Anambra State University Teaching Hospital. who recently visited the delineated Government House, reported that the entire complex is in shamble; as all the fittings including some zincs among other furniture earlier used in roofing the houses had been vandalised, even as wild trees and grasses have overtaken the whole structures.
The stench oozing from debris, wraps and sticks of smoked cigarette and heroine hovering all over the compound shows that the place is fast becoming heaven for men of underworld and mad people (probably).
Reacting to the impasse, a public affairs analyst and Coordinator, Environment Watch; an NGO, Comrade Ositadinma Obi described it as "a mere case of marred administration and misappropriation of resources", and demanded for an explanation from Anambra State Government.
According to Comrade Obi: "This is Anambra state project and people's money. Therefore, nobody; government or private individual has a right or reason to abandon a befitting government house project. It had consumed a lot of resources which could have been used to turn around the fortune of the populace...Therefore, we are not happy that our Government abandoned it beyond completion and chose to flagging-off many as there is full assurance that those projects would come to fruition as stated. We can't take it from them. Anambrarians are demanding for an explanation from our state government".
"They must tell us the person or persons or construction company involved on the project and what kept it to its present condition. Why are they avoiding the project? Ex-governor Peter Obi avoided it when he came on board may be for fear of confronting Chris Ubah and his Oil Construction Company. This is unacceptable! If there is something within, let it be made public. Every person involved on the project must be brought to book and money recovered so as to serve as deterrent to others", Comrade Obi concluded.
All effort by our reporter to obtain more information from the Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Calistus Ilozumba proved abortive, because officials of the Ministry told him that the Commissioner was not on seat even when his vehicle was neatly parked at its usual position in the ministry and when he further made other demands they rudely told him that they don't grant interview or information to print media anymore.

But why did Anambra Governor Abandoned this project?

the building entrance gate



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