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HomeInterview We have Qualified Engineers at Simplex Engineering-  Engineer Daniels

 We have Qualified Engineers at Simplex Engineering-  Engineer Daniels

 

Engineer Kayode Olatundun Daniels, Chief Executive Officer, Danoxk Engineering Limited and Chief Operating Officer, Simplex Engineering Limited designed and built the Transparency Plaza. He was recently recognized for being a thorough professional; Simplex Engineering Limited was bestowed with the award for excellence as the most outstanding indigenous construction company by the Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (YECCIMA) Bayelsa state.

He said their  services must have shown its self to the admiration of the general public. He appealed to the government to patronize indigenous companies so that they can get better.He spoke with Philip Eke in Yenagoa weeks back.

Excerpt

What are your constraints that have made you not to complete the projects at the judiciary complex?

 The challenges we have in executing the job is the problem of everybody now, insufficient cash flow. The contract for the Transparency Plaza was awarded in 2011 and we are supposed to have completed it. In reality we are not expected to stay on the job for more than one year, though depending on the magnitude of the job, but still have two uncompleted while the other three is 98percent completed.

 Is there any assurance that payment would be completed for you to carry out finishing touches on the remaining jobs?

 You can’t specifically say what they would do because they have many things they are interested in currently and they have many things they are doing right now. We just hope that they would see the edifice as something that should be completed.

Some of the offices have been occupied. What is the current agreement between the government and your company for them to make use of the premises?

Well because the government has paid to some extent, we decided to go into a bilateral agreement with the Bayelsa Development and Investment Company(BDIC) to enable them effectively market the property to interested customers. The rentage could be used to off-set some debt. We bought into their ideas because if we should leave it, it will not be profitable to anyone rather the value will be depreciating. So with reference to our agreement, BDIC has been bringing in prospective customers to look at the property for better and profitable usage. Apart from that, the governor too is interested in completing it so that they can move some offices there.

But in terms of payment, they are leaving up to required expectation except that the job have not been completed. One thing about contractual deals is that when the deal has been signed and approved you have to pay, but if the work starts and there are atom of delay it does not show signs of seriousness.

Tell us about your civil engineering skills?

Personally, I am into structural designs and analysis. We carry out forensic investigation for buildings and if there are defects in buildings, roads etc. you can call on us. I do designs and I have done a lot of designs for many companies. As the chief executive officer of Danoxk Engineering Company and since

Danoxk is yet to be known in Bayelsa, we design for other companies that have already gained ground, like Simplex Engineering Limited, Toruebi Consults, Bayelsa Dredging and Construction Company etc. designs are done by Danoxk Engineering Company, apart from that, we also give expertise advise.

You have just been given an award of excellence as one of the best Indigenous construction companies by the Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (YECCIMA). How did you come to achieve such a great feat?

I think the award came through the services we provided. It is because we have created a niche for our self by sincerely contributing to the construction industry in Bayelsa state. I believe no one will come into Bayelsa to complain that they have not seen or heard about the Transparency Plaza, because almost everybody that we come across has been praising the construction and the engineering design of the building.

As a matter of fact most construction sites are now copying our  methods of execution. That, I believe must have been as a result of our in-house training programme we have given many people in the state, though many are not with us now , yet they were able to project the information concerning the company to the state and the outside world.

Apart from the Transparency Plaza do you have any other jobs you are handling in the state?

Yes, we are the one handling the magistrate complex in Ovom, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state. It was awarded to us in 2014 by the Governor Henry Seriake Dickson led administration, however we started the work in 2016 because that was when the mobilization came out for we to earnestly start the job. Also we did the construction of the state House of Assembly quarters/duplexes in Azikoro town, internal road works in law school, Gbarain water out let, Hansel International School, all in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Outside the state we have Bony coastal retain works etc.

Earlier you made mention of financial constraints as a major impediment for completing your jobs, I hope is not affecting your other jobs?

Financial constraint is a thing that is everywhere now, particularly with the current economic decline. We are not having it the way it should be, as a result we cannot maintain the tempo which we are expected to operate. However, be it as it may, we still give kudos to the state government on all what they have done because we know that it is not easy.

The economic decline is hard on everybody. How is it affecting you?

  Like most Nigerians, the economic meltdown is actually biting hard on us. We have to cut down the size of our staff just to keep the tempo of work going. Because the cash flow is not constant, we have to cut down on some cost to keep us afloat. One of the areas that is mostly affected is labour/double handling cost. Sometimes we need to close down the site temporarily to put ourselves together and swing to action when things improve.

Currently as we speak the prices of construction materials have increased by one hundred percent yet we are still on the same bill of agreement. If we ask for fluctuation claim or variation to that effect it might not augur well with the government but that is the reality on ground.

We do import construction materials from China to enable us do the job the way we want it. Though the first construction were done with materials procured in Nigeria, however, because we noticed some defects in quality we specified, just to maintain the standard we want we have to import. After that we took sample of the one imported to our manufacturers in Nigeria to see a sample of what we needed, so we intend to use them for the other two remaining, if they will comply or ready to produce such.

From close observation the Transparency Plaza is almost ready but not completed yet. What is delaying the finishing touches?

It is finance. These are multimillion naira projects and it is not something you do with few naira, that won’t take you anywhere.

That is why we advise for sites not to shot down completely because the cost of remobilizing staff and machine to start work will cost extra. Currently the site is temporarily closed down, and any time they are ready to remobilize it, they should positively fund it so that we can complete our own part of the deal. Despite what I have said, we don’t cost our clients for it, it boil down on us, but it is safer for the site to keep running.

 

What advise do you have for the government?

I advise the government to invest more in indigenous entrepreneurs because we have what it takes to do what Julius Berger, Setraco, Dantata etc. is doing, but we are financially incapacitated. Knowing fully- well that this is our own, we can equally gather momentum and get somewhere.

The government too can use us as they use foreign companies. So we are good. Those they attribute as our betters, most of the times, we sit down together to find solution to issues affecting us, it is just that the government is so used to them that they believe that they are the one that can do bigger projects, we too can deliver, so they should try to invest in the indigenous companies.

Apart from what I have mentioned, the government needs to review its mode of awarding contracts. Government is not a family or caucus affairs, as a public office it is established to achieve set objectives. Have not gone online where the Bayelsa state government advertise bid for contracts, other states are doing it. Government need to create a porter so that they will give a free place to contractors too.

Many contractors are based in Yenagoa but operate somewhere else because they are not given open chance to bid for contracts, with that,the internally generated revenue cannot increase if the contractors are not operating in Yenagoa.

Right now, we are bidding for a job in Akwa Ibom State because they posted it online but in Bayelsa I hardly find that. Other entrepreneurs also depend on that because they are online based.Bayelsa is an Island that can be better than Dubai,if only we could put all we have together the state will be next to none.

 

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