Sunday , March 26 2023
Home / Business / SPOKESPERSON: Changes to NDA Tower design were to achieve functionality

SPOKESPERSON: Changes to NDA Tower design were to achieve functionality

Artistic impression of the NDA Tower

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The National Drug Authority-NDA has made structural adjustments to the building plan of their proposed headquarters in Kampala. The 12-floor tower comprises offices, laboratories and a three-level basement parking area.

Abias Rwamiwiri, the NDA Spokesperson, says that the changes were vital to achieve the functionality of the laboratory tower, and dismissed reports that it will lead to taxpayers forking out more for the new building.

Rwamwiri says the Authority followed all the necessary procurement guidelines, and insisted there would be no extra costs.

“No money has been lost, because those changes were actually to ensure we have a building that functions right. It comes with a cost implication but it is in agreeable procurement perimeters, we have not gone beyond our threshold, and our board approved this. There is no money lost,” he said.

A URN news report, based on Auditor General John F.S Muwanga’s findings, had indicated that government risks losing up to Sh3.5 billion following the structural adjustments. URN also quoted KCCA as saying the plans had not been approved in time.

“The changes that were made, were structural. While building, we look at the functionality, we are building a highly specialized medicine laboratory and in some places, we needed to create service floors for sensitive equipment,” Rwamiwiri told URN.

While the Auditor General says the changes were made on the outdoor and basement areas of the floor, Rwamwiri insists that the adjustments were only made on floors that will host equipment. He also says that they informed KCCA in writing about the changes in working and a team of inspectors visited the site to see the changes.

“We made some changes on floors where we will be placing machines…for the highly sensitive laboratory. While we were doing construction, we realized we needed to create service floors, and we created changes, and walking areas. We communicated to KCCA during COVID-19, they acknowledged receipt, they visited the site and gave us conditional approval. They did not reject our changes otherwise we have been stopped.”

He said NDA procurement rules are stringent, but allow changes, so long as they do not go beyond a certain percentage and will make the structure more useful.

The Auditor-General also raises queries in regard to delays in the completion of the project. The works which, began in October 2019 were supposed to be completed by October 2021. However, the project completion date has since been extended to March 2022. While the Auditor General attributes such delays to the failure of the authority to implement the contract, Rwamwiri told URN that they could not meet the set timelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The construction works stand at 70 percent completion.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *