Amid widespread skepticism on the possible completion of the much-politicized Second Niger Bridge, Hammakopp Consortium has raised fresh hope for the project, saying that its delivery before the end of 2022 is sacrosanct.
Hammakopp, a civil construction, maintenance, and fabrication firm, is a local construction company founded by Dr. Ernest Azudialu Obiejesi which is working in partnership with Julius Berger, the German construction giant saddled with the responsibility of building the bridge that will connect the West to the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Ikenna Chukwudum, head of operations at Hammakopp Consortium, who gave this hint at a media parley organized by Hammakopp, stressed that, even though he could not tell the exact month or quarter when the bridge would be ready, he was sure it would be delivered this year.
He noted that their contribution towards the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge in partnership with Julius Berger was a game-changer that shows they have come of age, adding, “working with Julius Berger to make the 2nd Niger Bridge a reality, shows how the industry players respect our craft.’’
To most Nigerians, especially those from the South Eastern part of the country, this is a piece of good news as the completion of the bridge would mean an end to the seasonal gridlock on the ageing 1st Nigeria Bridge that, sometimes, keep travelers on the bridge for days.
As an indigenous firm, Hammakopp stands out because of its belief in standards. It believes too that benchmarking best practices is responsible for rapid growth of the construction industry in Nigeria.
“Our insistence on standards and quality before undergoing any construction project is why we have made our mark in the construction industry,” Chukwudum said, disclosing that the company has a well-equipped laboratory where various construction materials are tested before being deployed to sites.
This, according to him, has been the game-changer as most of the causes of poor road construction and building construction collapses are due to the inability of some construction companies to do appropriate testing before starting their projects. Another reason, he said, was the use of sub-standard materials in construction activities.
‘’We deploy a unique combination of local and foreign professionals that deliver excellent services to the construction industry. Our policy of using the best available resources combined with duteous supervision that ensures a safe working environment without compromising on quality has put us ahead,’’ Chukwudum said.
“Hammakopp Consortium are experts in developing projects from the pre-feasibility phase through conceptual design and FEED studies, detailed design, procurement, construction, and project management and implementation,” he said.
He noted that, though they started small, being an indigenous conglomerate actively engaged in diverse sectors of the Nigerian and international markets, they have grown to be highly regarded in the construction sector.
On how the sector can grow, he said the major challenge facing the construction sector is funding and payment for projects done, as most times, it is difficult to be paid for projects done, especially during a change of government.
‘’The major issue is funding, payment for projects done and that is like 50 percent of the challenges faced by construction companies. If that is settled, the other challenges can be sorted,’’ he said.
Hammakopp, incorporated in 1999, is a one-stop shop for civil construction, maintenance and fabrication, environmental and sewage treatment, heavy structural fabrication, inspection, and maintenance services. It has installed its own Asphalt Plant, located in its Okija Base, and has the capacity of turning out approximately 120 tons of top-grade asphalt products per hour.
Chukwudum disclosed that the company has put systems in place so that, in the coming years, it will be classified among the multinational companies thriving in the country. He said that their level of investment in their staff and materials has put them on that pedestal, and that they are ready to make the local players proud of their innovations in the sector.