By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on Public Private Partnership, PPP, initiative with Apha Mead Group to transform underutilised, dilapidated buildings in Federal Secretariats across the nation.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita at the signing of the MoU in Abuja last week, said that it would enhance working environment for civil servants and boost quality of service to the government.
Oyo-Ita who said that the HoCSF partnered with ICRC, Federal Capital Territory FCT, and her office’s legal department to eliminate any form of breach in the PPP initiative, added that her office would serve as a pilot project of the PPP.
She noted that the transformation of Block A where her office resides would convince the Federal Executive Council to replicate same across the country.
“Public Private Partnership initiative of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation is a journey started early this year with a meeting of the need to make optimum use of government facilities such as the Federal Secretariats where over the years, it has been observed that some of these buildings have deteriorated due to lack of maintenance while others have become obsolete.
“The building is in a deplorable state. If you give staff a good working environment, they would be encouraged to put in their best. My office deemed it expedient to put to optimal use all underutilised, abandoned and dilapidating federal government assets nationwide,” she noted.
Speaking on the compliance level of the initiative, the Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, Mr. Chidi Izuwah, said the Commission has vetted the contract and certified it fit to proceed.
Represented at the forum by the Director, Contract Compliance Department of the ICRC, Mr. Mohammed Bamalli, said: “The ICRC must lend support to the corruption fight of the government by making public some salient information on PPP contracts executed by MDAs on behalf of the Federal Government.”
Femi Akintunde, an engineer, and the Group Managing Director of Alpha Mead Development Company Ltd., said that productivity enhancement was achievable with a conducive working environment.
He said that the pilot project would start with the Secretariat’s ground floor of Block A, where over 1,000 office spaces would be created and 800 car park space, to ensure safety and sanity of staff.
He added that “partnering with government is usually slow but I have seen speed and determination in this project on the part of the Head of Service. We want to create a serviceable and maintenance work space that will meet world standard.
“The Federal Secretariat is the engine room that drives the nation’s economy and must be conducive. We are looking at taking limited resources and turning them into something great,” Akintunde said.