One of Nickerie’s long-cherished wishes has come true for Nickerie District Commissioner Nisha Kurban-Babu. The new building for the Nickerie commissariat was delivered on Tuesday 12 May during a modest ceremony. The district commissioner has unveiled the nameplate along with Regional Development Minister Edgar Dikan, Presidential Adviser Ramon Abrahams and Surinamese ambassador to neighboring Guyana, Ebu Jones. Due to the safety and health measures surrounding COVID-19, the number of invitees was small and the ceremony lasted only a short time. The building has been designated as “Nickerie Palace”.
“The district deserves this building,” said the civilian mother prior to completion and symbolic commissioning. Dc Kurban-Babu has continuously advocated the completion of this project since taking office in January 2019. Construction was halted at various times because the government was not always able to pay the contractor on time. Now that the building is finished, staff will move in phases from another government building a few hundred yards away on R.P. Bharos Street. Now that the building is in place, the district commissioner is confident that the staff will work more motivated and that the work will go more smoothly than before. In recent years, the administrative department worked from a very small building that had long since failed to meet today’s expectations. With the expansion and modernization, the district mother also foresees an upgrade of the services. Aesthetically, the building is also a feast for the eyes in the heart of Nieuw Nickerie and a potential tourist attraction for the district. Kurban-Babu had hoped that with the inauguration of this building a big party could be built, but that was not possible due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Minister Dikan called delivery “another achievement of this government.” He praised the district community for the patience of the past few years. The minister sees the building as a symbol of the decentralization process. Against the background of the progress made by local government in Nickerie in that process, based on the 1987 Constitution, Dikan believes the district has a pioneering role and may even be exemplified. The minister is confident that Nickerie’s commissariat can do much more together with the local community. Minister Dikan also said that Suriname as a country can reach great heights if it has realized enough that cooperation is the key word.
After the speeches and the disclosure of the nameplate, the DC gave a tour of the building to the guests. The building has a construction area of over 1600m2, on two floors. The project has a cost of more than SRD 13 million. The contractor, Ricoh Balwant-Gir, is relieved that this project has been completed. When he started work in 2014, he hoped it would be much sooner. However, as difficult as the payments were, the contractor has always had good communication with the authorities. The priority for him was that the building should be there. “I did my best,” said contractor Balwant-Gir.
The construction work was carried out by the Aannemingsbedrijf Balwant-Gir and management and technical work was carried out by the Ministry of Public Works Transport & Communication (OWT & C). To this end, the ministry has recruited the expertise of Philip Dikland as director of KDV Architects.