L-R: Executive Director, Administration, Julius Berger Plc; Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mamman Ahmadu; DG National Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi; Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Alh. Muhammed Babandede, MFR; and Engr. Usmam Mohammed of Julius Berger Plc, at the Topping out ceremony at Nigeria Immigration Service Hqtrs in Abuja last Thursday.
By Our Reporter
Nigeria’s premium engineering construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the contractors handling the construction of the strategic Technology Building, Data Command and Control Centre of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) headquarters, in conjunction with the NIS on Thursday in Abuja performed the traditional “Topping out” ceremony of the highly technical and classified building. The ceremony executed often by the use of a high-powered crane, in engineering construction convention, represents when the last structural element is finally placed atop a building by its builders. It significantly anounces a building’s structural stability and success which precedes the final finishing works to be done on a project.
Engr. Dr. Lars Richter, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, who was represented by the company’s Executive Director Administration, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Building and a member of the Institute’s College of Fellows, said that, “topping out” of a building was a uniquely professional ceremony in the global engineering construction industry, and particularly so in the Julius Berger building construction tradition. According to Bayi, “the tradition though associated with construction, not so many contractors pay attention to it. Julius Berger, however, being the trail blazer in our area of core competence, has made it a usual practice in all our building construction projects in line with global best practice”.
Going forward from the “Topping out” ceremony, Bayi gave an assurance that Julius Berger would commence the infrastructural works outside next week and that the project will be fully completed and handed over as scheduled, adding that, upon completion, the Nigeria Immigration Service will not only have a very beautiful edifice but a technically safe and conducive workplace that meets best international standards.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Comptroller General of the NIS, Alhaji. Muhammad Babandede, MFR, said the technology building symbolised that data management and safety through the e-system is the future for Nigeria’s security. Babandede said the building which would be digitally connected to the world was also going to be an Information Technology (IT) base building, where data would be gathered from all technical partners and wharehoused. The Nigeria Immigration boss said: “This building is a technology building and also a command and control centre for NIS. It has never been like this and it is being built by the prestigious construction giant Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.”
Babandede further said: “In this building, you can see our borders, you can see what is happening in all the borders online, we can see clearance passengers at our ports of entry, we can see advanced passenger information online, we can see documentations of our passengers, at point of arrival and departure. This building would be connected to the world and would be an IT basement. You would agree with me that the future is here. All our technology will be connected and will be shared real time with all of our security partners and sister security agencies as well”.
The Director-General, National Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi while also speaking at the ceremony said: “I was here during the ground-breaking ceremony of this project and i am satisfied at the speed and expertise by which it has gone to this level. It is indeed unbelievable, he added.
Also, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, Mamman Ahmadu congratulated the contractor Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for the good job done so far.
Alhaji Bayi had earlier narrated this history of the project and its contract saying: “Julius Berger Nigeria Plc was awarded this unique project in November 2018 and commenced work immediately. The data centre is a mixed-use 3-floor building with an overall height of about 13 metres. The structure as it stands today has consumed 3000m cubic of concrete and 400 tons of iron rods.
Bayi said: “As you can see, this is called a carcass in construction language, but finishing works that will turn it into one of the most beautiful structures around has started. These include the interior works such as fixing windows, doors, cladding, tiling and electrical installations.