By Archibong Jeremiah
The construction of 50 units of 3 bedroom bungalows for Bakassi returnees is currently threatened as the state and the staff are at loggerheads.
The project is behind schedule and the Commissioner for Social Housing, Mr. Edem Effiom whose ministry supervises the project told CrossRiverWatch that this was because: “The level of work done is not satisfying and (the) lackadaisical attitude to work by some workers also contributed.”
He disclosed this when he led a team from the ministry to the site, on Tuesday to meet with the workers, which according to him became necessary.
And, the workers blamed the pace of work and situation on the inadequate supply of building blocks, cement and sand as well as lack of security and owed wages which range from days to weeks.
Mr. Effiom said the issue of owed wages will be tackled and tasked those responsible to mold 200,000 blocks in five days.
“We know that blocks are the major challenges and we expect the molders to meet their target, we will immediately investigate their claims of being owed wages and address it,” Mr. Effiom said and frowned at issues of theft and cutting corners which he tasked the community to take care of.
He averred that the youths should: “effectively monitor what is happening in the site as the project is for you and any shortcoming is to the detriment of the community as the project is time bound.
“We will employ two youths that will earn ten thousand naira each for a start to secure materials on site.”
Other staff were directed to take a break and resume on December 18, 2017.
The project is part of the first phase for the construction of 5,000 social housing units across the state with a total of 33 companies currently mobilized to site.
And, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Alfred Mboto who commended the workers and community for their understanding and disclosing their plights, charged them to secure the site as project is expected to be delivered in March 2018.
“Securing the site should be paramount to the community because this project is for you and we should cherish it. We are targeting to have finished this project by March because the Governor wants to celebrate his next birthday here,” Mboto said.