April 5, 2012

Parliamentarians who assume office on January 7, 2013 would operate from the long awaited Job 600 edifice as on-going work on the project is scheduled for completion by the end of August 2012.

Three-hundred container full of finishing materials and equipment for the project have already been ordered and are expected in the country between now and May this year.

The Resident Engineer, Mr Ekow Bentsi-Echill, told newsmen in Accra Tuesday after conducting the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr E.T. Mensah, round the project site that external finishings were due for completion at the end of June 2012 and gave the assurance of its inauguration by August.

When completed, the edifice would provide about 252 offices for the MPs instead of the original 200 to serve the current and anticipated future needs with enhanced provisions for the leadership of the House. Provision has also been made for research assistants/secretaries, among others.

Members of Parliament have since the return of the country to constitutional rule been without offices, a situation which has impeded their effective performance.

The total cost of the project is $62.8 million but due to expansion in the scope of works, it became necessary to source additional funds of $39 million to complete it.

Mr Bentsi-Enchill who conducted the minister and journalists round the project said, initial drawings on the project was limited in scope until some modifications were made and that despite the initial financial constraints that temporarily stalled the project, those difficulties had been overcome.

It was to address that situation that in 2007, the government secured a $25 million loan from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for the rehabilitation of the edifice.

The resident engineer explained that the project to house MPs begun 15 years ago and that the new initiative which is being executed by China State Hualong Construction Company to serve as offices for Parliamentarians started one-and-a-half years ago.

Mr Mensah expressed satisfaction with the progress of work even though for him, completion of the project was long over due, for which reason he urged the contractors to endeavour to complete the work on schedule.

He said the contractors and the government had together set up a road map for meeting the scheduled time table.

President John Evans Atta Mills in the 2012 State of the Nation Address to Parliament, promised that the Job 600 project would be completed this year and would be ready for occupation by MPs next year.

Source: Daily Graphic