Contractors who fail to meet project specifications and quality in the ongoing UBEC/SUBEB jobs risk revocation of their contracts and possible blacklist, chairman of the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Prof. Shehu Raheem Adaramaja has said.
Various renovation or rehabilitation works are ongoing across 600 schools in Kwara State — thanks to the state recently accessing seven-year matching grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
Adaramaja, who was speaking in Gorobani Village, Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State during the inspection of ongoing UBEC/SUBEB intervention projects for 2014-2019, said the Board would not hesitate to apply appropriate punitive measures against any contractors who fails to comply with specifications of the projects.
“To the contractors, the message is clear: get it done the way it should be done and get paid, failure to do that, we will reverse the contract. After the first and second warning, the third warning is to revoke the contract. The guideline is clear and we are not going to compromise,” he warned.
“We don’t want a situation where somebody will just write to us requesting for payment; we want to see it ourselves, we want to see the percentage of work done before payment is made because we don’t want to have abandoned projects.
We will pay you base on actual job done because we don’t want people to run away with public money. That is the message from the Governor and we happy for that, we appreciate him for tailoring the path of honour.”
Speaking on his assessment of the projects inspected, he said some contractors performed excellently well, while others performed below expectations.
“So far so good, some of the contractors did well and what they have done is okay for us, but some are below the standard. Those that are below the standard, we have told them what to do. We rejected some projects outrightly and we have instructed the contractors to start again”, he said.
The SUBEB chief explained that the layers of supervision put in place in the ongoing projects, especially with the involvement of communities, was to ensure that the projects are executed according to specifications.
“This time around, there are layers of supervision we have put it in place. It is not just the UBEC and SUBEB team that are supervising the projects, we now involve the LGAs, the school based management committee and the communities. The UBEC action plan on this ongoing projects is very clear. There are layers of monitoring mechanism mentioned in the action plan and that is what we are following,” he said.
“We involve school based management committee and we made them to realise that this infrastructure we are putting in place is for them and they must take responsibility and ensure that defective or substandard facilities are not provided. We have given them instruction in all the villages we visited that they must take responsibility.
“Honestly, if we are able to finish up the way we have started, it will be better for all in Kwara. Unlike in the previous years when contractors would just move to site without any supervision, now the communities, LGAs, school based management committee as well as UBEC and SUBEB team are all fully on ground for monitoring and supervision of projects.
“From this supervision, we have discovered a number of infractions which we have corrected. We got one in Ipe, another one in ECWA, we also caught another in Ala in Isin Local Government. The one in Ala, I saw a video where he has now gone to deliver the hardcore and polymer that were absent in the initial construction. So, that is the type of thing we want to achieve.
“Any contractor that is not willing to follow the standard will not enjoy this administration because the message of the Governor is that everyone must deliver quality works, deliver quality infrastructure, including in our schools. If there is any particular constructor who is not willing to follow standard, it is as good as that contractor is not even there at all. We will make sure that contractors do the needful. That is the message from the Governor.
“For meaningful construction, supervision starts from foundation level because when you get it right from the foundation level, the better for you. At the end of the day, we want to deliver quality projects that will stand the test of time in all our schools.”
Adaramaja appreciated the Governor for giving the Board free hands to operate which he attributed to the successes recorded in the ongoing monitoring exercise.
“I want to appreciate His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for giving us the enabling environment to operate because in the past it wasn’t like this. If there is any complaint, people will run to the Governor but he said no, go and do your work because when you take up a job, you must do it the way it is supposed to be done . So, that is why all of us are out moving from one village to another to ensure that the projects are properly supervised,” he added.
Some of the projects inspectied in Kaiama Local Government included renovation of four classrooms at Tunga Aboki LGEA Primary School; remodelling of five classrooms at LGEA Central Primary School, Kaiama; renovation of four classrooms, construction of a block of two classrooms and construction of four compartment of VIP toilet at Kamaji LGEA Primary School; and remodeling of four classrooms with two offices at LGEA Primary School Bezira.
Others were renovation of four classrooms at Kugiji LGEA Primary School; renovation of two classrooms at KLGEA Primary School Shiri Gweria; construction of a block of three classrooms KLGEA Kanikoko Primary School; construction of a block of three classrooms and four compartment of VIP toilet at Darulsalam Nomadic LGEA School; among others.