The attention of the Bureau for Special Projects have been drawn to a frivolous news milling the rounds that the NLC secretariat was sealed as a result of minimum wage related issues. This is not only untrue, but also a calculated attempt at misleading the public against the genuine intentions of government.

As you may be aware, the NLC structure which was built pro bono by the Rivers State Government for Labour was completed and commissioned only a few months ago by the Bureau and it is our normal practice to carry out general inspections and structural integrity evaluation or tests before the expiration of the defects liability period. It is this activity that precedes the release of the 5% retention fees due any contractor 6 months or 1 year upon practical completion of the project. This is not new to every contractor or client in the construction industry.

In this case however, the contractor himself reported to the Bureau a structural defect which must be immediately fixed to avoid further deterioration/risks of incidents. The Bureau had to act expeditiously by giving him a go-ahead to conduct a thorough structural integrity evaluation in liaison with the Bureau’s in-house consultants; and of course this can only be done by first sealing off the place, because the place can not be in use while the exercise is on.

It is uncharitable and ungrateful for anyone under the aegis of the NLC to misconstrue this exercise for a product of an imagined imbroglio between labour and government. This is sad!

It is worthy to mention that the subject matter being discussed was graciously provided for the union as a result the cordial relationship that exist between labour and government and I’m not in doubt of the continuity of that cordiality. The proponents of that outlandish news in our own thinking can best be described as UNCHARITABLE, UNGRATEFUL AND REBELLIOUS.

The land was not revoked by government; the building was not seized by government. The Bureau is only carrying out it’s routine duty in ensuring that all infrastructure it provides are habitable and safe for use by our people and it’s our practice to seal off buildings when such exercises are being carried out.

Thank you.

– George-Kelly, D.A, FNIQS
(Special Adviser, Special Projects & Head Bureau for Special Projects)

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