Julius Berger MD, Lars Richter
By Our Reporter
President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the new state-of-the-art Technology Building, Data Command, Communication and Control Centre of the Nigeria immigration Servicein Abuja. This ultra-modern complex is the most technology-driven, digital and automated building the Nigeria Immigration Service has ever had since its establishment in 1958.
The contract for the project was awarded to the country’s most reliable and generally preferred engineering construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, on 1st November 2018 for the first phase, and the second phase was awarded on 14th December 2020.Both phases of the contract were, as usual and definitive of Julius Berger contracts, successfully executed and delivered for commissioning by the construction giant as contracted.
President Buhari, who was virtually present to commission the building, in his speech at the Ceremony enjoined all security agencies to raise their performance in protecting lives and property, with a mandate that the country’s global security index must be improved. “It is imperative that our ranking in the Global Security Index improves and I am using this medium to call on all security agencies to step up their activities towards achieving this goal. I assure you that the administration will give the much needed support to you in your operations,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, MFR, welcomed the President to the commissioning of the Project and appreciated him for approving the construction and furnishing of the edifice. The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede said:“For us in NIS, the unveiling of this building today, provides a unique platform for security agencies in the country to truly synergize and harmonize efforts under one roof to frontally address various national security concerns using the instrumentality of information and communication technology. The nature of the building and its robust IT infrastructure makes it a great investment and a huge contribution to global security, particularly with its effective connectivity to special platforms such as the INTERPOL and ICAO PKD/PKI data bases. Babandede added that: “…with this, both local and transnational criminal activities can be easily monitored and nipped in the bud.
Babandede also informed the gathering that: “…Just yesterday (i.e. Wednesday 3rd March, 2021), the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved Security Data Intelligence contract which is a data consolidation, reconciliation and reporting solution. This solution and the PKD/PKl solution approved by FEC last month will make this centre gather information faster, optimise our collaboration, drive better-informed decision-making and ultimately help improve travel experience. We will like to assure the global community that holders of Nigerian passport can no longer travel with lost, stolen or a reissued passport. These information is now available to INTERPOL and ICAO member states. In the next few days. Nigerian can use their passport in any airport with e gate facilities throughout the world.”
In his remarks the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola thanked the President for the signing of the contract and also congratulated the Nigerian Immigration Service for the completion of the building. The Minister also specially appreciated and extolled the contractor Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for always doing a good job and delivering on time. “I want to thank Julius Berger for doing a great job and they always deliver, anyone here representing Julius Berger here should rise, a round of applause for Julius Berger and thank you for a job well done”, said the Minister.
Speaking with media correspondents at the event, the Executive Director, Administration, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, FNIOB, who represented the Managing Director, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter, said,“I am standing in for our Managing Director who earnestly craved to be present on this occasion but who is unavoidably absent. He, however, sends his best wishes and regards to you all.”
Bayi, who celebrated Julius Berger’s accomplishment of the project, said:“In exhibition of the usual speed, quality assurances and other attributes of excellence, which is a hallmark of this reputable company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has lived up to expectations by keeping to our obligations and promise in accordance with the contract, delivering a world class infrastructure despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Zubairu Bayiadded that: “ …this is in line with our usual work ethics, moral obligations and commitments towards completion of projects as a core principle from which not even the slightest deviation is accepted”
Bayi noted and expressed Julius Berger’s appreciation for the efforts of men and women of the Nigeria Immigration Serviceably led by the Comptroller-General; the project consultants, Artec Practice Limited led by Architect Popoola; and the Julius Berger Nigeria Plcproject implementation team.
Bayi thanked President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his leading and patriotic commitment to the construction of strong, functional and lasting infrastructural facilities for Nigeria, including the NIS Technology Building. Alhaji Bayi also thanked the Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for his unflinching and very productive support throughout the duration of the project.
A brief documentary of the Building was then shown to the guests for their viewing and to understand what the Technology Building, Data Command, Communication and Control Centre was all about. The building has a gross floor area of 3600 square metres. It is a reinforced concrete structure. The distinguishing features include double skin wall, energy saving lighting fittings, air-conditioning equipment, fire strategy consideration and top-notch passive ICT components and electronic passport management system dashboard. It was a grand and beautiful occasion with the NIS Band thrilling the guests and audience.
Dignitaries in attendance at the commissioning ceremony included: the Chairman House Committee on Interior, Hon. Nazir Zango Daura; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi (CCIE) who represented the honourable Minister for Communication, Isa Ali Pantani;Minister of Women Affairs, Paulen Talen; the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Interior, Mr. Ademola Adeyinka: the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaibu Belgore; representatives from FRSC, Nigeria Correctional Centre, Civil defence Corps, and seniors officers of NISamong others.