Construction companies building the multi-billion naira Rainbow Housing Estate in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Komnoulli Nigeria Limited, the safety consultants incharge of the project site, are gearing for war over an alleged non-compliance of safety standards by the firms.
The Weekend Tide investigation revealed that the crisis of confidence now brewing between the construction companies and safety consultants followed the insistence of the latter that safety materials should be provided to the workers irrespective of their status in the companies inasmuch as they are working on the project site.
It was understood that following the alleged refusal of the construction firms to comply to the directives, Komnoulli Nigeria Limited allegedly threatened to de-list some companies from executing the project.
The Weekend Tide gathered that the action of the safety consultants was occasioned by the demand of the workers, especially causal staff that the companies should provide safety boots and hand-gloves to them.
An impeccable source at the site of the Rainbow Housing Estate Development told The Weekend Tide that workers went to the safety consultants after all appeals to prevail on some of the companies to provide safety equipment to the staff proved abortive as the management of the firms continued to promise same.
Some of the workers who spoke to The Weekend Tide on condition of anonymity said “we have been working at the project site without safety materials like boots and hand gloves”, while urging the safety consultants to prevail on the firms to do so.
A source in the safety consultants firm acknowledged that many of the workers in the Rainbow Housing Estate Development are working without safety equipment.
“We (Komnoulli Nigeria Limited) may be forced to stop them from working if they refuse to obey safety and health regulations”, he stated.
It was further gathered that Costain Nigeria Limited, W.T.F Nigeria Limited, O.K.I Construction Limited, Matter Services and J.D.P. Limited are some construction giants executing the housing estate.
The Rainbow Housing Estate Development is a public private partnership project between the Rivers State government under the leadership of Hon Chibuike Amaechi and First Bank Plc which may described as a bold step to address the accommodation problems in the state capital.
When The Weekend Tide contacted the construction manager of Rainbow Town Development project, Mr Okpe on the issue, he said that he needs clearance from the headquarters of First Bank in Lagos to comment on media related matters.
Efforts made by The Weekend Tide for Mr Okpe to confirm the brewing face-off between the companies and safety consultant proved abortive as he refused to pick-up phone call from our reporter.