Samuel Luka, Bauchi
Bauchi state government has approved the sum of N3.4 billion for the provision of infrastructural facilities in all the 2,500 housing project sites in the state.
The state Commissioner for Housing and Environment, Alhaji Hamisu Mohammed Shira stated this while briefing newsmen on the memo he presented before the state executive council during a meeting last week.
“The memo was presented by me before the council for the award of contract to the tune of N3.4 billion for the provision of infrastructure in the construction site of the 2,500 housing scheme we have in the state”, the Commissioner explained.
He said that a loan of N12 billion was taken for the construction of the housing units, but only Bauchi site was carried along in the provision of infrastructure, living the other sites out.
“What I mean by infrastructure is that the roads within the estate, electrification, water reticulation and what have you”, Shira explained.
The Commissioner said that the ministry was able to realize the need to provide the infrastructure even though some of the houses have been completed and handed over to the ministry.
“There is no how we can commission and start allocation without securing the houses, first against vandals, second, for the safety and comfort of the occupants to be”, he said.
The Commissioner went further to say, “So we applied for 5 billion and N3.4 billion was approved by the Family Homes Funds Limited”.
According to Shira, after going through the necessary due process, the ministry invited 18 companies to bid for the contract, six of which became successful and further their request to the due process office.
He said it took the due process office one week within which to go through the documents and come out with an acceptable rate for the contract before it was brought before the council and it was approved.
“So, this is a new contract and very soon you will notice the construction of fence for the whole sites”, he added.
“There is what we call re-scoping that took place in the Bauchi site, initially, Bauchi was awarded an infrastructure but somewhere along the line we realized that roads were provided even where there were no provision for houses, so we can not build roads where there are no houses”, he said.
The Commissioner pointed out that instead of wasting the money, the ministry decided to re-scope the project and it realized the sum of 700 million out the initial sum of 2.9 billion.
He said, out of the 700 million, 313 million worth contract was awarded for the estate fencing of Bauchi site while 264 million was deployed to Ningi, Azare and Misau fencing which was done through direct labour by the ministry.
Shira further explained that the direct labour was used due to the inadequacy of the money for the project to be carried out by contractors.
According to him, by doing it directly, the ministry was able to save the government of tax of about 12 and half percent which should have gone to contractors as well as the profit margin.
The Commissioner said, in Ningi and Misau, the fencing project has been completed 100 percent, while in Azare’s own has reached 80 percent completion.
“So, the council today after questions and answers, finally rectified and approved the two memos I presented and was unanimously agreed that the construction should take effect immediately because the money were already disbursed and whare-housed in Jaiz bank”, Alhaji Shira said.