Works Controller calls for thorough project site appraisal in Niger Delta

Mr Nwachukwu Achebe, the Federal Controller of Works in Bayelsa, has advised contractors who bid for projects in the Niger Delta, to endeavour to do thorough appraisal of the project sites.

Achebe gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa on Sunday.

He said that proper appraisal of sites while preparing bills of quantity and project costs was necessary in order to reduce frequent request for variation of project costs in the region.

He noted that the difficult terrain of the Niger Delta region was a major obstacle to proper execution of projects, especially infrastructure.

He said that delivery of prototype projects designed for simultaneous construction across the nation often suffered setbacks in the region as such projects often ended up being modified to suit the terrain.

The federal controller of works said such modifications required additional engineering resources as well as extra funds.

Achebe said that the Federal Secretariat project in Yenagoa, for instance, suffered several years of delays due the 2012 flood that submerged the project site.

He noted that the difficult terrain and funding challenges had delayed the completion of the secretariat which was scheduled to be finished in 2014.

He said the terrain was marshy and required massive sand filling and extensive pilling so as to solidify the base before proper construction work could begin.

The controller said that the additional challenge posed by the low-lying landscape necessitated an upward review of the contract sum from N2.1 billion to N3.1 billion.

Achebe said that the contractors had tabled another request for the variation of the contract to the Federal Government.

He, however, said the project was 72 per cent completed.

The controller noted that the quality of the job so far had shown that indigenous engineering firms were capable of handling major infrastructure projects in the region. (NAN)