Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Contractors Abandon N800m Schools' Projects in Benue - Commissioner

Makurdi — The Commissioner for Science and Technology in Benue, Mr Godwin Adah, on Friday in Makurdi said contractors have abandoned over N800 million science and technical schools' projects in Anyiin and Otukpa .

Adah said this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi after inspecting projects in Anyiin, Garaboghol and Otukpa Science and Technical Schools.

The commissioner said that 80 per cent of the total contract sum has already been paid to the contractors concerned.

"The government has paid all the contractors in this ministry, so it is the fault of the contractors who are already playing politics with the contracts," he said.

The commissioner, however, pointed out that all the contractors handling the projects were people in government or of high profile status in the state.

Over N800m projects involve renovation and conversion of three old Government Secondary Schools in the state into science and technical schools.

All the contracts, according to the Commissioner, were awarded to indigenous contractors within the location of the schools.

"Since last year, I reported the contractors 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 said.

Adah said that one of the contractors has already been ordered by the committee to refund N11million to government due to the poor materials used.

He said that the state government had also approved contract for the supply of three water tankers to the three schools under review.

In an interview, the Principal of Government Science Technical School, Otukpa, Mr Christopher Orokpo, appealed to the contractors handling the projects to complete them on time.

Orokpo 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.

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