The Presidency has disclosed that it has released a total of N10.06 billion for the ongoing construction of the Presidential VIP Wing of the State House Clinic, within the precincts of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Addressing Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, which was on oversight visit to the ongoing clinic construction work, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijanni Umar, assured that the project will be ready by December 31, 2022.
Giving a breakdown of the financial status of the project, the Permanent Secretary said that the N416.6 million budgeted for the project in 2020 and N1.06 billion in 2021, have already been paid in full.
The total budgeted cost for the state-of-the-art project, which will cater to the health needs of the President, Vice President and other top government officials, was put at N20.9 billion.
Umar explained that out of the N20.8 billion budgeted for the project in 2022, the Federal Government has released N8.5billion.
He recalled that in line with due process, President Muhammadu Buhari had granted approval to engage Messers Julius Berger Plc to review and develop the concept design and proceed with the construction of the project as a turnkey contract.
“Accordingly, on 29th July 2021, the company was instructed to proceed with the review of the concept design and other site works simultaneously, based on which a roadmap/timeline for the construction of the facility was developed.
“In furtherance to this, the site was handed over to M/s JBN on 23rd August, 2021 which proceeded to undertake necessary and extensive site survey and other ancillary works paving the way for the ground breaking and foundation laying that was performed by the Chief of Staff to the President on 1st November, 2021”, he added.
He noted that the schedule of payment plan, which is linked with the work plan that was negotiated with the company in line with the advice of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning – outlining milestones at which the client is expected to effect regular periodic payment for work done in order to sustain the momentum of work and to deliver/commission the project by December 31, 2022 is yet to be fully aligned.
According to him “I should like to say that my remarks will be incomplete without expressing my profound and unreserved gratitude to you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for the sustained interest in this project, which by all standards will be a cherished national asset and a legacy of the present administration”.
Expressing satisfaction with the progress of work during an oversight visit, the leader of the senate delegation and Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Danjuma La’ah, said when the project is completed, it would address the issue of medical tourism.
He said, ”For the remarkable steps so far reached on the project site, I am highly impressed.”
The Senator, who described the progress of the work as fantastic, commended the contractors, Julius Berger Plc and the management of State House, led by the Permanent Secretary, Tijanni Umar, for complying with the time schedule for the completion of the project.
According to him: ”We will take it as a point of duty to keep a tab on this project until it is completed.”
He recalled that when he assumed the leadership of the Committee, he had pledged that the Senate would ensure that the clinic is properly equipped to provide world class medical services to principal officers in the State House, Abuja.
The regional manager of Julius Berger Nigeria, Oliver Berger, assured them that the project which is situated on an area of 2800sqm will be completed on schedule.