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Commission of Inquiry

Witness said contract sum for building was incorrect

July 18, 2019

By Regina Pratt

State witness number 4, Ivan Dillet, who described himself as the project engineer at the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) building project, yesterday told Commission of Inquiry presided over by over Justice Bankole Thompson that, the total contract sum of Le39,616,720.81 was incorrect because there was an additional cost to the principal contract.

The witness continued his cross-examination that he is a structural engineer with 15 -year experience, adding that as project engineer for the proposed head quarter of NATCOM, he has been involved in similar projects elsewhere.

“I agree that it is not usual for a project of this nature to go without variations. Usually, the variations take upward trend instead of actual trend and I agree that the NATCOM project was not an exception to the general rules,” he said.

He further stated that he visited the site before signing the contract and that there was a study of the topography of the site and ‘I agreed that we do not conduct any excavation of the sub structure.’

“I agreed that after visiting the site, there was a limitation for a bore hole as an alternative for water supply to the site,” he said.

He admitted that the provision of water was one of the addendums to the contract and stated that two underground water tanks were constructed.

The witness said the water tank was adequately designed as a visionary concept for a dual purpose.

He said initially, they had 9 floors and that there was a request for additional floor, which naturally invited additional cost, stating that it was true that the additional floor came in after the commencement of the building, making it 10 floors.

“It is true that the initial design was to accommodate 9 floors but  advice was sort from the structural engineer, Frederick Bruce and Associates, to investigate if the foundation can carry an extra floor and the answer was in the affirmative”, he said.

He further recalled that the cost of  three contracts- Principal exhibit (NB)E1-12, addendum exhibit (NB)f1-5 and supplemental (NB) g1-6-USD10,942,203.81 was correct and agreed that the total value of the NATCOM building was in excess of the said amount.

“I explained this so because the signed contract comprising exhibit (NB) E1-12, (NB) F1-5 and (NB) G1-6 do not include variations tag 1-10 which was approved by NPPA that derived from the project,” he said