GOVERNOR Obiano’s dream towards making Awka the best state capital in the federation is gradually becoming a reality, as an intensive meeting of stakeholders, consultants, contractors and ministries has been held recently at the Deputy Governor’s Conference Hall, Awka, to resolve some lingering issues that might delay the completion of work at the site mapped out for an International Conference Centre at Agu-Awka.
Having visited the site to inspect work progress, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, told National Light that the International Conference Centre is a legacy project for Governor Obiano and that he has been sent to look into the project to ensure it is delivered on time.
“After the stakeholders meeting, I believe there is a way forward and things will begin to happen. From what we can see now, much has not happened, but I am very certain that a lot is going on. The contractor needs to get more personnel, and the consultant has given the assurance to get things in place. Hopefully by the end of March, everything will be structured and work will begin in earnest” Okeke assured.
The deputy governor also mentioned that funding would not be a hindrance to the completion of this project. “The contractor has never complained about lack of funds, but is trying as much as possible to harmonize the process. The commissioner would be on top of his game to ensure this process is ongoing”. Okeke promised to revisit the site and attend site meetings, to ensure that all parties and stakeholders are working together towards achieving their desired aim.
“In the whole of south-east, there is no project of this magnitude, the complete structure would be the largest and accommodate a capacity of about 7000. This centre would attract conferences, trade fares, weddings and serve a whole lot of purpose. It would increase our IGR and add value to Awka city as the state capital”. Okeke further urged the contractor to remain competent and ensure that the work is delivered on schedule.
Commissioner for Housing, Emeka Ezenwanne, said this mega project is the kind you see in Dubai. “This size of project would have some challenges and that is what we tried to resolve at the just concluded meeting. This work which began in the past seven months would be brought to completion in about 12 to 14 months” he promised.
Also, MD/CEO Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, Amaechi Okwuosa, “With the intention of the state government to make Awka the best capital state, the project could serve various purposes, for tourist attraction, a place to hold seminars of large quantity. This wonderful project is of world class standard and is something that would add value to the already beautification of the state”.
The lead consultant for the project, Ifeanyi Okoma, told National Light that the mega project is of much importance to the state government. “Although, there might be a lot of engineering challenges, by the time we finish, it would be comparable to the things you see in Dubai. Right now we are being challenged by the weather, flooding, swampy area, and the ability of the contractor to interpret and move the drawings forward,” he complained.
Okoma, who further said the state government has been very supportive, also insisted that the contractor sticks to the program of work, and once that is done, they would deliver on schedule.
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