Mar 21 , 2020

The Oromia Regional State has begun building nine public office buildings in seven regional towns at an estimated investment cost of 428 million Br.

The Regional State's Urban Development & Housing Bureau plans to allocate the space to 16 regional public offices. Financed by the regional government, the buildings will be equipped with generators, parking space and elevators. Construction started at the end of 2018, and all the projects are expected to be completed in the coming month.

Each of the four-storey buildings rests on 1,264Sqm of land in Shambu, Hurogudru Wellega, Elubabur, West Wellega, West Gujji, Bale and Bedelle. The buildings in Bedele and West Gujji towns will have two blocks each, while the rest of the towns have one.

The projects are aimed at solving the problems of eliminating rental expenses and facilitating the better provision of services, according to Tesfaye Temesgen, communications team leader at the Housing Bureau.

Once the construction is finished, the government offices and institutions are expected to move into the buildings. Oromia Urban Development, Oromia Small & Micro Enterprise and Oromia Education Bureau are among the institutions that will move into the new buildings. These offices have been residing in rental buildings and paying up to 15,000 Br a month each.

Worku Maru General Contractor, EY Contractor, Endris Ahmed Contractor and Bamaco Engineering are among the contractors building the projects with the supervision of the Regional State's Urban Development & Housing Bureau, which has 155 employees and began the construction of condominium houses 13 years ago in 16 towns of the Regional State. So far, it has built 21,000 condominium buildings and transferred 88,000 housing units.

The remaining work that is left on all the projects is the installation of fences around the compounds, painting and the installation of electricity.

Security issues in Wellega area and untimely rain on the Bale construction site were the major problems the contractors faced during construction, according to Tesfaye.

Lelishtu Befekadu, a resident of Bedele town, welcomes the project, because it minimises her transportation costs and saves her time.

"Having all the offices at one place will facilitate the service provision and increase the satisfaction of the customers," said Lelishtu. "This kind of service should expand to other cities."

Recently, the Bureau also completed and handed over three buildings designated for 15 public offices in Sarbet that were built for 220 million Br. The Oromia Agriculture & Environmental Protection Bureau, the Oromia Trade & Market Development Bureau, the Oromia Roads Authority and the Oromia Science & Technology are among the institutions that will move into the new buildings.

Every year the Oromia Regional State spends 60 million Br from the regional budget on office rent.

Zewdie Shibire (PhD), a lecturer in the management department of Addis Abeba University's School of Business & Economics, applauds the construction of the office complexes.

"Gathering the offices in one place will help the institution to provide effective and efficient service and will help to save time and money," Zewdie said.  "Other public institutions should take a lesson from this."

PUBLISHED ON Mar 21,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1038]

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