June 23, 2024

Dakkada Tower: Cost of rent scares prospective tenants away

Daada Tower: Cost of rent scares away prospective tenants

Ini Billie, Uyo

Four years after the inauguration of the multi-billion naira 21-storey smart building (Dakkada Tower) constructed by the Akwa State Government, International Oil Companies (IOCs), have yet to occupy the building as targeted.

The immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, constructed the edifice to attract IOCs as tenants and encourage some of them, including ExxonMobil to relocate its corporate headquarters to the state.

Unfortunately, the building has remained unoccupied owing partially to claims that the high cost of rent, pegged at N14 million and its payment in dollars as arranged by former governor Emmanuel scared away prospective tenants.

It was gathered that the situation led Governor Umo Eno to slash the rent by half, allow payment in naira, and donate part of the building to the Bank of Industry (BOI), so it could open up other spaces for interested tenants to occupy.

Reacting to the issue, the Commissioner for Special Duty, Mr Bassey Okon, said Eno had directed the ministry to do a brochure for proper marketing, adding that a marketing consultant that would stay in Abuja, Lagos, and other strategic cities would be contracted to market the building.

Okon said the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) has indicated interest in taking some floors in the building, adding that the ministry would reach out to DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources), and ExxonMobil to take up spaces in the facility.

He stated that facility management experts have been engaged to provide adequate maintenance and upkeep, optimal security, and constant power supply in the facility.

“We’ve got four tenants in the smart building. We’ve got Savanna Energy. We also have Oando Oil and Gas. We have the Bank of Industry, Health and Safety, and Ibom Deep Sea Port.

“We are still trying to reach out to DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources), as well as Exxon Mobil. We want to have an interface with them. So, we are working gradually.

“The governor has also engaged the facility management experts. So, 24/7, there is power. People are attending to requests. There are people tasked with the maintenance and upkeep of the building. We have a facility manager called Schneider Engineering.

“The Ministry of Internal Security has also positioned about six internal security personnel, and they are running shifts. So, we’ve got internal security within the building as well,” he stated.

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