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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Contractors abandoned Over N800m Schools’ Projects in Benue – Commissioner

After inspecting projects in Anyiin, Garaboghol and Otukpa Science and Technical Schools, Mr Godwin Adah, the Commissioner for Science and Technology in Benue on Friday in Makurdi said contractors have abandoned over N800 million science and technical schools’ projects in Anyiin and Otukpa.

While briefing newsmen in Makurdi, the commissioner said that 80 per cent of the total contract sum has already been paid to the contractors concerned.
The commissioner, however, pointed out that all the contractors handling the projects were people in government or of high profile status in the state and they are playing politics with the contracts. “The government has paid all the contractors in this ministry, so it is the fault of the contractors,” he said.

According to the Commissioner, all the contracts were awarded to indigenous contractors within the location of the schools.Over N800m projects involve renovation and conversion of three old Government Secondary Schools in the state into science and technical schools.

“I reported the contractors since last year, to the House Standing Committee on Science on the contractors’ lackadaisical approach on the projects.

“The committee had earlier in Nov. 2012 ordered them to mobilise back to site, but they have not done so up till now”, he also said that one of the contractors has been ordered already by the committee to refund N11million to government due to the poor materials used and that the state government had also approved contract for the supply of three water tankers to the three schools under review.

The Principal of Government Science Technical School, Otukpa, Mr Christopher Orokpo, in an interview, appealed to the contractors handling the projects to complete them on time. He said that the school had problems of water supply and insecurity because of the lack of a fence, electricity, sport facilities, water, clinic, staff accommodation and equipment for science and technical practicals.

All the students in the three science and technical schools were sleeping on the floor as the government is yet to approve contract for the provision of school bed.
The students also sleep alone in the night in all the schools as the staff quarters as well as the matron houses are still under construction.
The students were also seen eating under mango trees at Otukpa as the dining halls suffered the same fate as other projects. (NAN)


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