12 March 2018

Nigeria: State Secretariats Get Massive Facelift

Dutse, Maiduguri, Birnin Kebbi — While many states secretariat continue to suffer decades of maintenance problems, few state governments are now taking the lead in undertaking regular repairs and expansion of the secretariats that accommodate their workforce.

From expansion of existing secretariat complex, provision of alternative power supply source, furniture and fittings, pipe-bone water to enhanced landscaping, such state governments are preparing to reap from efficient service delivery from their workforce.

In Delta state, our correspondent reports that the state government has embarked on a N12 billion secretariat complex that could save billions of naira in annual rent for the state.

With the completion of the secretariat, the third by the state government, many of the MDAs that have been quartered in private buildings since the creation of the state in 1991 will relocate to government buildings.

The state governor, IfeanyiOkowa, said "Over N12bn is being spent for the construction of this secretariat which on completion, will house 27 MDAs."

In Lagos State, our correspondent observed a major construction of what could possibly be an extension to the state secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja.

The construction began during the administration of former governor Mr.Babatunde Raji Fashola and it is now nearing completion. The current Governor, AkinwunmiAmbode, has sustained the momentum.

As at the time of visit to the construction site by our reporter the seven-storey building was at finishing stage in preparation for its painting.

In Nasarawa State, the state government in the last quarter of 2017 embarked on the renovation of the state secretariat complex.

The development followed an on-the-spot assessment of the complex by the state governor, UmaruTanko Al-Makura.

The state government has also embarked on construction of new structures in the secretariat. About N1.47 billion was earmarked in the 2017 budget for construction of public buildings, while N1 billion was budgeted in 2018.

Jigawa State is among few states that have a befitting state secretariat with functional facilities, our correspondent found.

Built by the administration of former governor Alhaji Sule Lamido, the state secretariat still bears its new look as all facilities are still new and functional.

The complex accommodates all the state civil servants in well-furnished offices with functional air condition system. The secretariat enjoys constant supply of pipe borne water while standby generators provide power supply for the building.

In Kebbi state, Daily Trust reports that the state government has over the years constructed other structures to the current state secretariat, however, some parts of the old complex needed to be renovated as blocks and wooden decoration on the building were already falling off as they succumb to the element.

Given the dilapidated nature of the structure former governor Usman Nasamu Dakingari started the construction of a new secretariat at the bye pass area of Birnin Kebbi. But work on the project was stopped immediately he left power.

However, work is ongoing at the old secretariat for almost a year now.

In Akwa Ibom, the state government has not allowed the secretariat to fall into a deplorable condition as renovations of the offices are intermittently being carried out.

The roads between the new blocks of the secretariat complex were in a deplorable state until the Ministry of Housing and Special Duties under the leadership of Mr. Akan Okon, took over maintenance of the complex.

Today, the government has fixed the roads and paved the walk ways in the secretariat.

In Yenagoa, our correspondent found that Bayelsa State civil servants continue to enjoy modern infrastructures in the state secretariat.

The incumbent governor, Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson in March 2012, built additional edifice in the secretariat. Infrastructures at the new edifice remained intact.

In Plateau State, our correspondent reports that the state's secretariat remains strong, solid and well kept.

A visit to the complex revealed that the state authorities continue to give the structure regular face lift while new generators were supplied to provide power supply.

Before now, some part of the Kaduna State secretariat was in dire need of a face lift but the present governor, Mal. Nasir El-Rufai, has given the secretariat a new look with beautiful landscaping, flowers and trees planted around.

In Osun, our correspondent reports that the state government workers operate from spacious and conducive offices as all necessary facilities are provided in the secretariat to make the staff comfortable.

The office of the governor which is also situated within the secretariat is a beauty to behold. Visitors to the state usually describe the edifice as a tourists' attraction of sort.

Similarly, the 43-year old Borno State secretariat continues to withstand the wears and tears of the times.

Daily Trust observes that the physical structures have remained intact and solid, with a very inconsequential level of dilapidation.

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