…May Go To Court Over Whitepaper Implementation
The Registered Trustees of a group known as Every Child Education and Advancement Foundation (ECEAF) after a meeting in Owerri, the Imo state capital yesterday where they reviewed the alarming infrastural decay at the Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri called on Prince Alex Mbata, who was Pro-Chancellor of the university to explain why some TETFUND projects in the institution were abandoned despite the enormous resources provided for them.
The group in a released signed by the Director of Publicity Comrade Dominic Nwankwo frowned at the damning revelations contained in the recent White Paper on IMSU which unveiled how Prince Alex Mbata an aspirant for Owerri zone senatorial seat who was Pro Chancellor of the university at that time, unilaterally and inexplicably, changed the Consultants appointed by TETFUND to oversee the projects and ensure completion according to specifications and appointed new consultants who eventually abandoned the projects and fled.
The group further posited that, “we have been reliably informed that PRINCE Alex Mbata, the Ngwoma Obube, Owerri North born, C.E.O of ABM Global is aspiring for the Owerri zone senatorial seat, hence we as a matter of urgency demand that he explains in graphic details what happened to TETFUND projects at the Imo state University, Owerri when he was the Pro Chancellor during the Rochas Okorocha tenure as governor of the state. “We are aware that IMSU is in dire need of lecture halls and other facilities, while some of those presently available are dilapidated.
“As a group that is passionately committed to the provision of the basic educational and other needs of the “Child” we will be left with no other option than to take drastic actions if we are not availed of the explanations we seek within the shortest possible time.”
Counting, they said, “we understand the importance of the position of Senator to Owerri people hence we would do anything possible within the ambit of the law to ensure that the position is not given to or occupied by somebody who will use it to enrich himself at the expense of the people.”
The white Paper in paragraph 5.1 titled “Abandoned Building contracts said, “The abandoned building projects have been a source of worry and embarrassment to Imo State University and Imo State Government, and people as a whole. The abandoned buildings are made up of three (3nos) TETFUND Intervention Projects, namely; Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education Annex Building Projects; and two (2nos) NEEDS Assessment Projects, made up of the New Main Library and the Medical Centre Buildings.”
The report further stated that, “Contractor mobilized to site on Monday, 13 January 2015, but commenced
work in the last week of March, 2015 due to difficulty in getting occupants of the buildings on the site to vacate.
“By 16 June 2015, the contractor had started having problems with the delayed release and payments of his earned certificates.
“Between 16 June 2015 and up till 14 October 2015, Arisa Adifice and other contractors of identified TETFUND abandoned projects made four joint requests (16 June 2015, 24 August 2015, 3 September 2015 and October 2015) for payments of earned certificates without success. By December 2017, contractor abandoned the project .
“The white paper, stressed the need for the provision of a conducive environment for teaching and learning especially in the Faculty of Business Administration Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education Annexes, buildinga and others that were also abandoned said,” three dimensions (3-D) Consultant was engaged at the inception of the A contract but due to reasons best known to the then Chairman of Council, Prince Alex Mbata, who it was alleged, replaced 3-D Consultant by Mayfair “Projects Ltd., contrary to laid down procedure by TETFUND. It was alleged that the Chairman of Council insisted on sighting the vouchers and the cheques before approval for payment. All of the above issues impacted negatively on the execution of the project.
“The resulting delays in both raising and payments of earned certificates severely retarded the construction work and made the completion date unattainable.
“It is advisable that this project be completed to add to University in its teaching, learning and research programmes, and to be in good standing with Nigeria Universtities Commission (NUC) and other relevant regulatory bodies for accreditation of courses.”
Effort to reach Prince Alex Mbata for comment as at press time proved abortive.
However, most members of the academic community who spoke on condition of anonymity frowned at the rate at which TETFUND projects in the institution were abandoned thereby jeopardizing the interest of staff and students who been deprived of the comfort of a conducive environment for teaching, learning and extra-curricular activities even when the relevant, agency TETFUND had made the necessary provisions in terms of funds and logistics.