NKURENKURU – The construction of the Kavango West regional council’s office park in Nkurenkuru will commence after having been put on hold for five years. Despite the awarding of the construction tender to New Era Investments and Octagon Construction in September 2016, the project never saw the light of day.
This was because of government’s moratorium and suspension of the construction of some of its capital projects due to budgetary constraints. “Despite the moratorium, the council continued to engage the ministry of urban and rural development to consider the project and prioritise availing funds for it as the council did not have its own office building, and it was becoming too costly to rent,” explained regional council chairperson Joseph Sikongo.
After a successful engagement during the 2019/20 financial year, the ministry requested the council to review and reduce the initial design and scope of the building in order for the costs to go down to an amount closer to that of other regional council offices already constructed.
The council revealed that during the 2020/21 financial year, the ministry allocated N$3 million for the review of the design, scope and bill of quantity. This exercise was completed, bringing the revised cost of the project to N$190.2 million from the initial N$258.7 million.
The actual construction work, which is the second phase of the project, is now set to start early next month, and is expected to be completed in three years. An amount of N$20 million has been allocated to the council from the line ministry this financial year to kick-start the construction process.
“We would like to send our appreciation to the line ministry for hearing our cry for an office by availing a budget to the project,” Sikongo said during the site handover and groundbreaking ceremony that was held on Monday. He then called on the contractors, the principal agent, the council’s planning and development directorate staff and everyone else who will be involved in the project to put in 100% focus and commitment for it to be completed within the budget, timeframe and to be of good quality.
“I, therefore, request the project team to ensure quality right from the start of the construction work. The building should not only look beautiful from outside, but the construction work must be of great quality,” the politician added.
Meanwhile, the two contractors gave the council their assurance of quality work and the creation of employment for locals. “We assure you that we will do our very best, with quality, with time,” said Ryan Qin from New Era