The Delta House of Assembly, on Tuesday, approved the sum of N1.7 billion for the construction of a diagnostic medical complex at Owa-Alero in Ika North East Local Government area of the state.
The request for the approval of the money by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa was contained in a letter read during plenary by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, in Asaba.
The governor had, in the letter, said that the request was in line with his administration’s drive towards providing world-class health service delivery for the people of the state.
The State Executive Council (SEC) had, at its 14th meeting, held on Nov. 1, 2019, considered and approved the construction of the centre at a total cost of N1.7 billion.
Okowa said that the state Ministry of Health, having secured the approval, later realised that the project might not be achieved within the life span of this administration due to paucity of funds.
”Being a flagship project, the ministry opted for alternative source of funding to ensure early completion through a contractor-financing model.
”It was noted that quotations received from tenders were significantly higher than the official reserved sum of the project, and in that regard, the company with the lowest bid was considered.
” Based on this, the state Tenders’ Board recommended to the SEC an upward review of the initial contact sum of the project.
” Consequently, SEC, at its first meeting held on Jan. 21, considered and approved the recommended sum of N1.7 billion for the execution of the project, with 30 percent down payment in favour of NJZC International Construction Limited/Sinoma Investment International Limited, the contractor handling the project,” he said.
According to the governor, the contractor will finance up to 70 percent project cost, while 12 percent interest rate would be charged annually on the 70 percent project cost.
”The state government, in turn, is expected to issue an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) in favour of NJZC International Construction Limited/Sinoma Investment International Limited.
“The duration of the ISPO shall be 24 months, plus six months moratorium, making it a total of 30 months for completion of the repayment plan.
” The purpose of this letter is to seek the authorisation of the assembly in support of the financing arrangement, with respect to the construction of the project, ” Okowa said.
Consequently, the Majority Leader of the assembly, Mr Tim Owhefere, moved a motion for the House to consider and adopt the governor’s request.
The motion, which was unanimously adopted by the assembly when put to a voice vote by the speaker, was seconded by the member representing Ndokwa West constituency, Mr Charles Emetulu.