Yenagoa Bayelsa State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Lawrence Ewhrujakpor, has described the five-star tower hotel project of the state government as "an embarrassment."
He lamented that the slow pace of work on the hotel would make its completion on schedule difficult to achieve. Ewhrujakpor was speaking during a tour of some projects in the state by his ministry. The hotel project was initiated by the former Governor of Bayelsa State and now President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan had himself in 2012 described the 17-floor-hotel as "a monument of disgrace" following what he termed as former Governor Timipre Sylva's refusal to complete the project.
At the project site during the inspection by Ewhrujakpor, the contractor had complained he was having challenges on the drawings which were still with the consultants.
He pointed out that the hotel when completed would help solve the problem of insufficient accommodation suffered by visitors to the state as well as add value to the aesthetics of the state capital, Yenagoa.
He also assured the contractor that everything would be done by the government to rectify the anomalies observed on the drawings of the hotel.
The commissioner, however, expressed satisfaction at the level of work on some of the ongoing projects, especially the first flyover in Yenagoa which the contractor, Julius Berger Plc, assured would be ready before the end of August this year.
Ehwrujakpor, who test-drove with some workers on the flyover, described the achievements of the state government as monumental, saying he was fulfilled to have the first drive on the flyover bridge. He also expressed delight over the progress recorded on the Yenagoa-Oporoma Road project linking Southern Ijaw Local Government Area to Yenagoa, and called on the management of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) to ensure early completion of the project.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the tour, he noted that without embarking on the various projects, the plan of the government to make Bayelsa a tourism haven would not be realistic. He also noted that some of the projects were replete with errors on the part of the contractors whom he said deviated from, especially on Road 30, stressing that the contractors would come to his office for update.