The Taraba State Transparency and Accountability Forum, a Jalingo-based pro-democracy group, has kicked against the deployment of security personnel to stop the ongoing construction of the Federal Secretariat Complex in Jalingo.
Executive Director of the Forum, Sani Gambo, made the position known on Monday while addressing journalists in Jalingo.
Mr Gambo said that the construction of the complex was to add value to the Jalingo Urban Development Plan as well as provide office accommodation to federal agencies operating in the state.
He called on Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba to address both the political and administrative bottleneck delaying the execution of the project.
The executive director said Taraba had been neglected in the award and construction of a federal secretariat complex since its creation in 1991.
He said that the approval for the construction of the complex was a tremendous developmental consideration to the state.
Mr Gambo expressed regrets over the crises that hitherto enveloped the process of executing the project, adding that all administrative procedures concerning the implementation of the award had been completed as execution had already begun.
Mr Gambo further explained that the Federal Ministry of Housing had undergone all the requirements needed for the development of the project on the site.
He listed the necessary documents acquired by the Federal Ministry of Housing to include letter of allocation, survey plan and express grant letter.
He also recalled that the Taraba State Government in June 2021 gave approval for the allocation of the five hectares piece of land located beside the State Secretariat Complex Jalingo.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Housing had already concluded its rules of engagement process, as well as fulfilled all the procurement process and thereafter, awarded the contract in June 2023.
“We are hereby calling on our amiable Governor, Dr Agbu Kefas, to do everything within his reach to ensure that the execution of the federal secretariat complex in Jalingo comes true.
“We also appeal to our governor to ensure the withdrawal of all the security personnel deployed to stop the ongoing project. Our major concern is for our governor to call some of his officials who have seemingly constituted serious threats and encumbrances to the actualisation of this project to order.
The contract for the construction of the complex was awarded to UYK Nigeria Limited for the job for 18 months duration.
The site was officially handed over to the contractor on September 2, 2023.
However, work stopped on the project due to the tussle between Taraba and the Federal Governments over ownership of the site, prompting deployment of civil defence corps to the site.
The land was earlier allocated by the state for the Trade Fair Complex but reallocated by the past administration to the Federal Government.