The Chairman, Kwara State Universal Basic Education, Prof. Shehu Raheem Adaramaja, has reads the riot act to contractors handling ongoing UBEC/SUBEB projects in the state, threatening that they should either work to project specifications or risk revocation of their contracts and possible blacklist them.
He gave the warning during the inspection of ongoing projects, where he said that various renovation or rehabilitation works are ongoing across 600 schools in the state.
According to him, the projects were made possible due to the recently accessed seven-year outstanding Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) matching grants by the state government.
“The Board will not hesitate to apply appropriate punitive measures against any contractor 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, but failure to do that, we will reverse the contract. After the first and second warning, the third warning is to revoke the contract.
The guidelines are clear and we are not going to compromise,” he warned. Adaramaja, who added that the contractors would be paid based on actual job done since the Board would not want any contractor to run away with public funds, however, said while appraising the projects that 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 with us, but some are below the standard. But, those that are below the standard, we have told the contractors what to do. We rejected some projects outright and we have instructed the contractors to start again,” he said.
The SUBEB boss further explained that the layers of supervision put in place for the ongoing projects, especially with the involvement of communities, was to ensure that the projects were executed according to specifications. He added:
“This time around, there are layers of supervision we have put 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 the ongoing projects is very clear. There are layers of monitoring mechanisms mentioned in the action plan and that is what we are following.
“We involve the School-Based Management Committee and we made them realise that these infrastructure we are putting in place are for them and they must take responsibility and ensure that defective or substandard facilities are not provided.
We have given them instructions in all the villages we visited that they must take responsibility.
“From the supervision, we have discovered a number of infractions which we have corrected. We got one at Ipe, ECWA and another at Ala in Isin Local Government Area.
The infractions at Ala, I saw a video where the contractor deliver the hardcore and polymer that were absent in the initial construction. So, that is the type of thing we want to achieve.”