The State Government has replied critics, including the People’s Democratic Party in the state, on reasons behind its construction of a new government lodge.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu explained that the government jettisoned the lodge built by the Olusegun Mimiko administration and opted for a new one.
According to him, “the old Governor’s Lodge was originally a modest three-room duplex of timber flooring, built for the Colonial District Officers. This historic building went through a lot of modifications, restructuring and renovations since the creation of Ondo State in 1976.”
Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the lodge at the Government House, Akure, as part of the activities to mark his 100 days in office for a second term, he continued that, “When we came in February 2017, we met the old Governor’s Lodge building, fabrics and furniture in acute dilapidation and utter state of abandonment. Also, the Governor’s Lodge Annex that was built by the immediate past administration, had issues of structural defect. Our first reaction to the ugly development was to involve the best of cost-effective steps to put to good use the facilities. In pursuant of this, qualified and experienced building experts were invited to work with our in-house professionals to carry out due diligence and survey on the structures.”
He stated that, “the objective of our action was to have a concise report on the adequacy of spaces, snags, building health and cost of remedial works. The report, thereafter, submitted by the experts revealed a humongous cost of putting the old lodge in a befitting status and yet it will not adequately compensate for the value of money to be spent.”
The governor disclosed that in pursuance of his commitment to the REDEEMED agenda and to leave a good legacy, a committee was set up and saddled with the responsibility of constructing a befitting lodge for the state government.
“This project was conceived with the best expectations of any Governor’s Lodge you can find in Nigeria. The structure sits on approximately 2,000 square meters of land and measures about 18 meters from the ground floor to the tip of the iconic roof “.
On facilities to be put in place, Akeredolu listed a Banquet Hall to sit about 250 guests, basement parking, indoor and outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, sitting lounge, atrium sitting room, bedrooms and other functional spaces.
Other facilities, he said are, “Information Communication Technology (ICT) software and gadgets will be applied in the finishing of this edifice while the entire environment will be adorned with both soft and hard landscape “.
“Let me state unequivocally, that this project is another landmark testimony of our commitment to the administration agenda. In the last four years, we have been able to make bold footprints in the building infrastructure sector.”
Despite all the posh and ultramodern facilities for the project in the Governor’s Lodge, he said his administration was working on other laudable projects across all sectors.
These include the construction of an ultra-modern Internal Revenue Service Headquarters, modern guest chalets in the Government House Grounds, UNIMED Teaching Hospital facilities in Akure and Ondo Complexes.
Aside these, he noted that there would be restructuring of the Governor’s Office area within the complex, to make for a befitting office for the Governor and his immediate aides.
He equally mentioned the renovation of TESCOM Headquarters, the Library Board, public buildings across the state, restructuring of VIP chalets, facelift of the State House of Assembly Complex, modern office block for ODBPP and multi-lateral relations agency.
Not exhausted, he said the Accountant-General’s Headquarters would be completed, in addition to the construction of a modern office for the Ondo State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.