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Despite Gov Kefas Approval, SSG Stops Construction Of Federal Secretariat In Jalingo

Fresh moves to commence the construction of a Federal Secretariat in Jalingo, the Taraba State Capital has met a brick wall as the Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Barr Gebon Kataps allegedly stopped the construction project last week.
 
Sources said Governor Agbu Kefas has given his nod for the construction of the Federal Secretariat project to continue on the Trade Fair Complex after being briefed by officials of Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. 

Last week, some security operatives said to be working on the instructions of the SSG had storm the site and ordered the contractor out of the premises.

Taraba Truth and Facts newspaper gathered that siting the Federal Secretariat on the Trade Fair Complex became an issue after Governor Agbu Kefas awarded the renovation of the Trade Fair Complex to a contractor when he assumed office.

The Federal Government had in September 2023 handed over the same Trade Fair Complex as site for the construction of the Federal Secretariat Complex in Jalingo to UYK Construction Nigeria Ltd after former Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has approved and handed over the Trade Fair Complex to the 
Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. 

"The Governor was not properly briefed that the Trade Fair Complex was handed over to the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for construction of Federal Secretariat before awarding the renovation of the Trade Fair Complex, while the Federal Contractor was preparing to commence the work, we saw that another contractor from the state government was on the site.

"We engaged the state government and made our case that the project for Federal Secretariat in Taraba State was already approved by the Federal Executive Council and budget allocated to it, the Governor gave us the go ahead to use the Trade Fair Complex since the contractor has been mobilized for the project.

"We had several meetings with the Taraba State Government where the Deputy Governor Alhaji Aminu Alkali and the SSG were present. The Governor gave us his approval to continue the project on the land and directed that another site be allocated to the State Contractor," a top official of the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development told Taraba Truth and Fact newspaper.

Another source from Taraba State government said Governor Kefas has ordered that another site be given to Mesotho Group Limited for the construction of a Trade Fair Complex, wondering why anybody will stop the contractor handling the Federal Secretariat.
"To the best of my knowledge the position of the State government is that the Federal Secretariat should be constructed on the Trade Fair complex and am aware the Governor had agree to it, I see no reason why anyone will go and stop them."

Taraba Truth and Fact gathered that the SSG had earlier called the Controller Housing, Taraba Field Headquarters, Alhaji Rabiu Ahmad to vacate the Trade Fair Complex  and stop the ongoing construction work.

"Although for reasons best known to him, the SSG had been opposing the construction of the Federal Secretariat on the Trade Fair Complex, he made several attempts to move the projects to other locations but they were unsuitable for the project. At one of the meetings the SSG once said Taraba State doesn't need a Federal Secretariat.

"For many reasons, the Federal Secretariat should be inside the town for easy access and it will complement the beauty of the city, the Federal Secretariat is for the benefit of Tarabans

Several efforts to get the SSG speaks on the development provided abortive as calls and messages sent to him were not responded to as at time of filling this report.

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