The Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo, Prof Nyaudo Ndaeyo has urged Federal and State Governments as well as private institutions to patronize local contractors.
Speaking during the handing over of a block of lecture theatres to the Faculty of Environmental Studies in Uniuyo built by Fens Properties Nigeria Limited, Prof Ndaeyo said indigenous contractors were equally qualified and skilled like their foreign counterparts to handle such projects.
The Vice-Chancellor who commended the contractor for delivering the project within the contractual agreement of seven months, charged the Dean of Environmental Studies to ensure the building is occupied on or before May 15.
“I want to encourage other contractors who have been given the privilege to work for us to emulate this company, Fens Properties. I say so because even in the face of the challenges they faced, they never one day asked for an extension. I salute you.
“They took over this site on the 13th of September last year, and by my mathematics, it’s not up to eight months. But some contractors have been given contracts for three years, since 2014/20l5 and they are still on site.
“I hope and pray that when Fen will have another opportunity to work with us, they would not develop cold feet. I am happy with them because they made use of good and seasoned consultants who will go to look for what is wrong and not what is right.
“The engineers are those that can stand the test of time anyway nationally and internationally. That is why when I drive past some of these roads constructed by HENSEK, I feel fine that Nigerian engineers can do things. You don’t need to go and bring in people to come and work for you. That is why they were trained.
“I am using this opportunity to encourage others, other institutions and government to make use of Nigerian engineers so that they can deliver and gain experience in the process,” he stated.
The Managing Director of Fen Properties, Michael Udofia mentioned soil test and recalculation of the building’s foundation, alongside financial constraints as some of the challenges encountered during the project execution.
“First and foremost the challenge was the soil test when the soul test came, we need to recalculate the foundation of the building.
“Number two was lack of cash. Most of the workers we used were demanding for physical money and most of them do not even have bank accounts, but we tried to surmount this challenge.
He said the company was given seven months by the university to complete the project adding that the above-listed factors delayed the execution of the project within 5 months as stipulated in the contract agreement.
“I want to say the completion of quality, timely and cost-efficient projects are in our DNA and I still look forward to serving Nigeria in this capacity. We constructed the University of Uyo Filling station and the Law Faculty,” he said.
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