Gombe State has promised to complete and put to use the abandoned NUJ Press Centre before the beginning of the second quarter of 2020.
The project, located close to the Abubakar Habu Hashidu Estate in the State capital, was started over seven years ago but up till December 2019, the snail speed work on the project only took it to seventy to seventy-five percent level of completion.
The State Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Alhassan Ibrahim Kwami, made the promise of completing the project after he was taken round the building by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Saidu Bappa Malala.
According to the commissioner who was told that only N7.5m was needed to put the press centre to use, said work would resume as soon as he goes through the project details and effect any review that seems necessary.
He vowed to pursue the release of the remaining funds so that work would commence in earnest with a target of completing it before April 2020.
The commissioner said the current administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya would not relent in providing a conducive atmosphere for journalists to practice, adding that government will not accept or condone a substandard work on the press centre.
“I can assure you, we’re not going to take over substandard edifice, the furniture and what they have provided are substandard and we’re not going to accept them,” Alhassan pointed out.
The CEO of AGS FAWA Ventures, the firm handling the contract, Alhaji Namanu Kwamanda had told the Commissioner that funding and rising prices of building materials prevented the project from early completion but assured that as soon as funds are made available, he would move to site and would abide by the contract’s specification and standards.
Also commenting, the State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Saidu Bappa Malala expressed optimism that the current State Government would fulfill its promise of completing the project going by the commitment put in by the Commissioner of Information.