Funding delays NIESV, NITP, NIOB Abuja secretariat projects
Plans by various professional bodies in the built environment to permanently register their presence in terms of having their headquarters in Abuja are being hampered by paucity of funds.
The bodies claim that the financial crunch affecting all sectors of the economy, especially contracts and jobs for professionals in the sector have affected their financial drive for new secretariats.
Apart from Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), which has an office at Katampe and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), which commissioned its national secretariat at Gwarimpa, Abuja, last years, others are still operating from rented apartments.
The Guardian learnt that the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), who had already secured lands for years are still struggling to set up befitting edifices in the federal capital territory due to paucity of funds.
More pathetic is the case of NIESV founded in 1969 by the few qualified General Practice Chartered Surveyors who were trained mainly in the United Kingdom. The Institution, which was granted government recognition by the enactment of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers (Registration Act)” Decree No. 24 of 1975 is still operating in a rented apartment in Bassan Plaza, Plot 759 Independence Avenue, Central Business District, (CBD), Abuja.
A fellow of the body, who craved for anonymity, regretted the inability of past leaders of the body to prioritise the construction of the national secretariat located at Plot 1028 Gudu District, Abuja.
According to him, there seemed to be lack of seriousness on the part of past leadership, as the project was not pursued with the required vigour.
He noted that the project has since turned to an election issue by prospecting candidates who abandoned it soon after.
The fellow, however, commended the building committee for fast-tracking works on the project under the current administration. As NIESV president, Roland Abonta has since assumption of office prioritised the project.
Barely 11 months after his resumption of duty with limited available funds, the five-storey building that was then undergoing the casting of the foundation sub-structure reached the third floor as at February 2019.
Today, the building has reached the roofing level.
According to the national publicity of NIESV, Mr. Monday Ahiwe, the National Council in driving the construction work so fast and the building is now at the roofing level.
“ Remember, that is a five-storey construction that will require formwork, setting and others, it would be roofed at the end of the month. Funding was an issue at a time, but we are able to scale through it. We were able to manage from the little we got from members and we are able to push through. We have made serious progress. The project would be completed before of the year-end because we are throwing in every to get it ready”, he said.
But that is not the case with the NITP headquarters in Abuja. The Guardian learnt that the project was handed over to private developer due to paucity of fund. Already, negotiation on the issue has been finalized cumulating to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the developer.
The immediate past president of the body, Luka Achi told The Guardian “that we got the stage of getting a private developer who was interested in collecting it from us to develop it and recover his money and revert the building to us just as we did in Lagos office.
“I have handed that MOU to the new president, the then Minister of State for Mines is ready to support but it is nearly a year and half, with progress”, he added.
Similarly, the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) is planning to develop a befitting secretariat in Abuja and Lagos.
President of the body, Kunle Awobudu said although there is an existing secretariat in Abuja, NIOB will build another to replace the two-storey edifice located at 7APDC Capital Estate, Opposite Brick City, Kaba District, Abuja with the availability of funds.