In the early days of democratic rule in 1999, housing was a major problem for many civil servants and political office holders in Asaba, the Delta State capital, and in some situations, arrangements were made for temporary accommodation and offices for them. Amos Utuama, SAN, Delta State Deputy Governor, who was a commissioner under the administration of James Ibori, recalled what it was like in those early days in Asaba: “We didn’t have quarters, we were living in a hotel and the five star hotel then was Mike White.”
Although there was a Government House in place at the time used by previous military administrators in Asaba, the need to construct a befitting Government House for the state was something many people agreed on. All over the world, seats of government embody the prestige and power associated with the office. Given the fact that they stand as a symbol of strength and creativity, the hearts of many Delta citizens will be gladdened at seeing the new Government House. Situated within the same old Government House complex, the new Government House was the brainchild of Ibori whose administration is credited by many indigenes of Delta State with laying the foundation for the infrastructure development of the state. Like in some other examples, the Uduaghan administration completed the project. Utuama told the magazine that the contract for the construction of the Government House, Asaba was first awarded to Costain West Africa by the Ibori administration but the company, couldn’t perform, even after being mobilised. He added that when the current administration came on board, it decided to use a local contractor – ULO Consultants, a company that was founded in 1998, to continue from where Costain stopped.
Apart from the Governor’s Residence, the Governor’s Office, the Exco Chambers, a Banquet Hall, a Sport facility area (Lawn Tennis, Squash Court, Swimming Pool and Pool Bar), two Guest Houses, two Chalets, ADC and Chief Detail’s Quarters, the Driver and Steward Buildings, the new Government House also has a Presidential Lodge, the First Lady’s office, a Transportation, Security and Aides Quarters, a chapel, a Press Gallery, the ancillary building (maintenance, water treatment and generator house buildings) as well as a fuel and diesel dump. How befitting.
Aside from that, many other government offices and residential houses have been built and continue to spring up every day in Asaba, thus adding to the city’s aesthetic beauty. “When I came to Asaba in 1999, this was not the Asaba I came to; it was bush, real bush. But today, Asaba is one of the fastest growing urban centres, with good roads, light and houses. What brought about it? Is it not democracy? Is it not good governance? It is,” says Utuama.
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