Okowa, who inspected the project on Thursday, told newsmen that out of 40 Chinese workers expected to handle special aspects of the project at the site, 20 could not leave their country before the outbreak of the virus.
According to him, the project billed for completion in May will now be completed in July.
“I am pleased with the level of work being done at the site, obviously we are delayed but we have gotten the explanation from the contractors who said they work on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I am happy with the quality of the work; it is perfect and we are hoping and praying that they would be able to gain time and finish on time and we are having a shift of the completion date now to July.
“We were thinking that the project would be completed at the end of May, but we are now looking at July.
“It is obvious because, we have been told by the contractors that they were expecting more Chinese but because of the issues surrounding Coronavirus, they were unable to bring the last set of 20 people.
“So, it is only the initial 20 that came that are involved in the work and it is obviously slowing them down.
“We understand that it is an issue that is health-related and we cannot afford to force them to do something that is not in the best interest of our country, but we look forward to the July completion date.
“From what we have seen, we are very satisfied with the quality of work, quality of materials, even the quality of the lifts; six of the lifts have already been installed in various parts and they are working perfectly well.
“I had to use one of them and I can testify that it is of best quality,’’ he explained.
The governor pointed out that the secretariat was huge structure, saying it several times bigger that the two existing secretariats in the capital city.
“It’s a secretariat that occupies a little over 50,000 square metres; from the information at my disposal, it is huge and we believe that it is going to likely accommodate every Ministry, Departments and Agency.
“We are aware that people have made several comments concerning the project; truth is that people will always have something to say, no matter how well intended your intentions may be.
“People will always make comments, some out of ignorance, some out of playing politics that is unnecessary, but, from the beginning, those of us who conceived the idea understood the importance of the new structure.
“By God’s grace, everybody can see for himself and understand both the necessity and the fact that we are capable as a state to have this kind of secretariat.
“It is unfortunate that after several years of existence of this state, we are still operating from over 100 different offices located in different parts of Asaba which does not give room for coordination, relationships and of course for us to save time.
“A lot of man-hour is lost in communication between the ministries in terms of people trying to move files from one place to the other but truly, you can find that we have wholesomeness and we can have shared facilities with this secretariat and that’s why we sited it here,” he said.