The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) on Wednesday expressed concern over the delay in completion of Federal Secretariat Complex in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.

Mr Ibrahim Dauda, the Director of Internal Audit at FRC, told newsmen in Yenagoa that speedy completion of the project would boost government’s policy on ease of doing business.

Dauda, who led a FRC project monitoring team to the South South Zone, said that it was regrettable that the project, which was expected to be completed in 2014, was still under construction.

NAN recalls that the contract for the project was awarded in 2012 for N2.1 billion with expected completion time of 2014.

“We are seriously concerned at the delay, especially for a young state like Bayelsa where Federal Government agencies are facing serious accommodation challenges.

“If this facility is completed, it will be a one-stop shop for all Federal Government agencies and it will boost the government’s policy of ease of doing business by keeping relevant offices under one roof.

“It will further be a huge savings on the part of government on the colossal amount paid by various agencies of the Federal Government on rent.

“We urge the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to make the project a priority and ensure that it is completed without further delay,” Dauda said.

The FRC official, however, commended the contractor for the pace of work so far achieved in spite of the funding challenges.

According to him, the project status is above 70 per cent, while the funding commitments is about 52 per cent.

Briefing the FRC team, Mr Nwachukwu Achebe, the Federal Controller of Works in Bayelsa, attributed the delay to the marshy terrain of the project site.

He said that the project required massive sand filling and extensive pilling to solidify the base before proper construction work could begin.

Achebe said that challenge was encountered due to the low lying landscape which necessitated an upward review of the contract sum from N2.1 billion to N3.1 billion.

The controller, who put the level of completion at 72 per cent, said that the contractor handling the project was doing well.

Achebe said that there was improved funding of the project in 2017 which had received two tranches of payments within the year.

NAN

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