DURING his tour of project sites within the Asaba capital territory area last week, the Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, praised the contractors for the quality and standard of job being done. But he charged them to speed up efforts to ensure the jobs were delivered on schedule. He spoke in a manner that sternly drove home the message against the background of imminent return of the rains, just few months from now.
At the Okpanam road axis where he inspected the re-working of the drainage system, the Governor nodded with pleasure his approval of the quality of execution of the project, which had defied previous efforts at its construction, thereby worsening, yearly, the flooding of the area during the rainy season. The Governor’s hands-on approach to project supervision is a strategic step to ensure that developmental objectives are practically attained. It is quite commendable.
Beyond the endorsement of the projects’ structure, Governor Okowa’s position is an acknowledgement of the proficiency and diligence of the contracting firms as partners in state building. To this end, as already underscored by the Governor, the firms must, as of necessity, deliver the various projects within the specified timeline. This would, indeed, be the ultimate definer of their capacity to render quality and cost-effective service to the state.
Regardless of the shortfalls in the state’s revenue profile, the administration has been steadily outputting developmental projects across the state. Some 398 roads and other facilities have been penned down for commissioning in the next few months before the administration’s second anniversary. The commissioning, of course, is subject to the timely delivery of the projects.
It is heartening to note that the contractors returned to site shortly after the Christmas and New Year break, an action that erases any doubt about the seriousness and urgency attached to the infrastructural projects. The dry season is, unarguably, the best time to build physical structures that ordinarily are vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather.
Working diligently during this period would enable the firms complete and hand over the jobs on time and avert delays that some of them are alleged to orchestrate to trigger review of project costs, which is always on the increase. Early delivery of quality infrastructure, in our opinion, would position the contracting firms in readiness for the next available job.
Governor Okowa’s commendation of the quality of the on-going projects and his demand for timely delivery is an invitation to the beneficiaries to turn away from the era of shoddy project execution. Often, this had led to poor quality roads with very short life span. In some cases, some buildings had developed fatal cracks shortly after completion occasioning their being eventually pulled down.
Then, project monitors and supervisors equally did inferior jobs of their mandates. They colluded with contractors to deliver substandard public projects to government. Today, a good number of such jobs are being re-done at even greater cost. This, painfully, is scarce fund that ought to have gone into building new infrastructure.
Governor Okowa’s strategy of development, especially as it relates to constructing social and economic infrastructure, is a welcome model. We urge the support and cooperation of the entire people of Delta State for the state administration as it drives the machinery of governance to deliver more tangible and enduring dividends of democracy to all.
The onus, on a final note, is on the contactors not to betray the confidence the state government repose in them. They were chosen at this critical stage in the history of the state to, not just make profit, but contribute their quota to the development of their homeland. Contractors should, henceforth, see it as a patriotic duty to deliver quality projects befitting of our state.