Questions Trail Execution Of TETfund Projects In UNILAG, FUTA

Questions Trail Execution Of TETfund Projects In UNILAG, FUTA
This is the second and concluding part of INNOCENT DURU’s investigation into what public varsities in the South West are doing with the funds received for the implementation of TETFund projects in their respective institutions.
The University of Lagos, popularly known as UNILAG, is one of the federal universities that have benefitted immensely in terms of resources meant for the execution of TETFund projects.

But visits our reporter paid to the institution revealed that the implementation of some of the projects are riddled with question marks.

On Page 54 of a document titled ‘Performance Report on 2015-2018 Budget, TETFUND and NEEDS Assessment, Including 2019 Proposed Budget Implementation’ sent to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, the institution listed the construction of an 11-storey library complex as one of the ongoing projects. The project is under the institution’s 2012 High Impact TETFUND Special PROJECT Batch II (New Library Building).

Findings, however, revealed that the institution is building a seven-storey building instead of the 11-storey building in the design at the sum of N1,935,135,087.35. Suspicions concerning the building project was compounded by the controversy generated by its partial collapse recently. The new university library building purportedly being constructed by Dutum Construction Company Limited collapsed sometime in February 2019, provoking hot verbal exchange between the Governing Council and the management of the institution.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement, Oluwole Oke, said after a visit to the site that the lower chamber decided to investigate it as well as others after a letter written by the Pro-Chancellor of the university, Dr Wale Babalakin, drawing attention to issues of alleged financial infractions and faulty project implementation.

Oke said: 
“We are here pursuant of the resolution of the House mandating us to investigate the alleged infractions of provisions of public procurement Act 2007 and other financial issues. And we invited the stakeholders.
“Even though the regulators, the NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education, have already taken steps, we felt that the allegations of the Pro-Chancellor were very weighty and we felt we should investigate his claims.”

Consultant to the library building project, Mr Oreoluwa Fadayomi, was reported as saying that he had warned the contractor, Mr Olatunde Runsewe, that the building could collapse if proper steps were not taken, and even refused to approve progress thereby delaying the project.

Fadayomi, Director of Landmark Integrated Technologies Limited, told the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement which inspected the site that Runsewe’s Dutum Co Ltd workers lacked the expertise to complete the library project, which he said should have been delivered since November 2018.

He said: 
“The management of the contractor as it was (as at the time of incident) cannot handle the continuation of the project. Here is a job we should have handed over in November last year and we are still on the first floor.
“And why were we on the first floor? Because I was diligently monitoring and refusing to approve shoddy work, and I was being blacklisted and blackmailed.
‘We changed supervisor over three times because we said no. They would give us methodologies that would not work and we would say no. The management, the staffing have to be overhauled to continue the project.
“If it is the same persons and process, Sir, my firm will withdraw from that project because we cannot continue to supervise at that level. They have to up their game if they have to continue.”In his defence, Runsewe said he was competent to handle the construction as he had handled similar projects – such as the Senate Building of the Covenant University and that of the University of Ibadan.

Meanwhile, see photos of UNIPORT 500 level student who committed suicide after completing his final year project.
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