From Gyang Bere, Jos
Following the determination to improve on school enrollment and health facilities due to COVID-19 in Plateau State, the contractor handling projects of the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong tagged “Lalong Legacy Projects” has expressed strong optimism to complete the projects within record time.
The President BLENESON Services Nigeria Limited and the contractor, Engr Lawson Ngoa, refuted claims that the project has been abandoned and described the assertion as the handiwork of mischief-makers.
Engr Ngoa, who disclosed this during an assessment tour of various sites of the Lalong Legacy Project said he was assigned the project since 2018 across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
He noted that the project which are made up of 6 modern hospitals, 6 modern Secondary schools and 8 modern Primary schools would impact positively on the lives and citizens of Plateau State.
‘I decided to come out today to go round and see things myself because there is this doubt that the project won’t be completed, this project is abandoned. I decided to come and see things for myself and from what I have seen so far, like in Riyom here the project is over 70% completion and I am sure we should be commissioning this project as soon as possible.
‘I am looking at between April to see that this project is commission. We are working round the clock to ensure that the projects are completed this year.
‘The time and the specification of the projects is 2022, that is when we are supposed to hand over this project. But right now, what we have done so far, we are very sure we are going to handover this project may be very late 2021 this year.’
He expressed confidence that funding of the project would not be a problem for the State Government, saying that the project funding mechanism has been adequately addressed.
‘When I was engaged to take over this project, I went to the market, from the market the total funding for this project was raised. So the fund for the project is there and so we work and as we go we access the funds.’
Engr Ngoa noted that the project was delayed due to COVID-19 Pandemic and vowed to put in more effort in delivering a standard job at the specification.
‘We have serious inflation because of the pandemic. But in the inflation we are also talking to the state to see how that can be addressed. As a company, we are working with subcontractors, we have subcontractors cutting across the whole state handling the project.
‘We have gone ahead to vary the job for our own contractors, looking at the recent cost and all of them are happy and doing well at sites.’
He dismissed the assertion that the subcontractors are been owed: ‘That is not truth, we pay as at when due. You know it is only during the time of pandemic that we have challenges and after the pandemic, we don’t have that challenge, we are paying the contractors. The total amount of the project is well known it is something that is in the budget of the state.’
Engr Ngoa explained that the contractors do not have any challenges with the host community that will amount to the delay in job completion, noting that the community have expressed gratitude that the projects will address their plights.
He commended Governor Simon Lalong for conceiving the noble idea and said the project will address the needs of Plateau communities and bring Government closer to the people.