By NBF News

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa- fifteen years after the creation of Bayelsa State, the Federal Government has formally flagged off the construction of its N2.5 billion secretariat complex to accommodate its personnel operating in the predominantly riverine state.

The project, sited along the highbrow Ox Bow Lake business district area of Yenagoa, was Monday handed over to Trenur Nigeria Limited, an indigenous construction firm that won the bid for the construction.

When completed, the secretariat  is expected to accommodate the over 70 Federal Government ministries, MDGs and parastatals operating in the state.

At present, most of the  agencies are operating under difficult situation due to shortage of space, with many of them occupying structures initially built as generator houses when the state was part of old Rivers State.

Handing over the site and project document to the chairman of Trenur Nigeria Limited, King Amalate Turner, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, said the Bayelsa federal secretariat was one of the six such projects earmarked for the six geopolitical zones.

The minister, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Architectural Design Services, Mr. Paul Edozor, said the four- storey structure, which is a departure from the initial eight-storey designed in the 70s which are not friendly to physically challenged persons.

According to the minister, the federal secretariat project, with a minimum of 498 office accommodation, is to be completed in 100 weeks and is expected to ease the accommodation problem currently facing federal civil servants in the state.

'Bayelsa case is very peculiar. Since the creation of the state all federal government offices have been operating from generator houses as there is no single building serving as Federal Government office.

'In the next 100 weeks we are going to have a befitting secretariat complex that would house all federal government offices. We are here to hand over the site to the contractor. Our representatives will be on ground here to ensure that the job is done to specification. We are aware of incessant building collapse but none of our buildings has collapsed. This secretariat will be built to standard,' said the minister.'

The project, the minister further explained, was designed to cater for the need of physically challenged persons who are also expected to make use of the structure.

Receiving the project design and other documents from the representative of the minister, the chairman of Trenur Nigeria Limited, King Amalate Turner, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for redeeming its promise to establish its presence in the state.

King Turner assured that the project would be completed on time and would solve the accommodation problem facing federal civil servants in the state.