Director of the Daily Trust Foundation, Dr. Theophilus Abbah, has stated that corruption is responsible for the failure of many Universal Basic Educations Commission, UBEC’s Action Plans for some school projects in Nigeria.
He said this as guest on the Wednesday’s Radio Program, Public Conscience, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, while reacting to the report,” N311m school projects in ruins across FCT…”
During the program, Nigerians were given the opportunity to express their views, most suggested that the government should ensure inclusiveness and transparency in the contract awarding process for school projects.
Dr. Abbah who concurred with some of the recommendations by parents and guardians who called in the program, said the action plans of UBEC/SUBEB on contract awarding should be on the public domain/internet for Nigerians to monitor the progress.
He clearly attributed the weakness in the monitoring, supervision and completion of school projects to the lack of integrity of the stakeholders involved in the project execution.
On his part, the first caller in Abuja, Suleiman Yahaya, said the problem with the system is that school officials, parents and other relevant parties are not carried along to establish what the students need, adding that there is ‘no sense of ownership.’
Adesina also from Abuja, said parents do not send their children to public schools because most are aware of the lack of basic facilities. He blamed SUBEB for this while explaining that the Board abuses the awarding of projects by apportioning to selves, friends and families.
Similarly, Eniola from Jabi, suggested that government should publish project agreements, names of the contractors and MDAs awarding the project, adding that this brings openness to the system.
Also, Gbenga from Lugbe, said the reason why these school projects fail is because states have not adopted the Bureau of Public Procurement Act, which is why due diligence is not followed before awarding projects.
Meanwhile Chibueze Ukadike in Abuja said the only thing that would fix the corruption in the education sector is ‘capital punishment.’
During the radio Program, Dr. Abbah whose media organization, Daily Trust carried out the investigations on the corruption trailing the school’s project listed a number of contracts that were not executed, though they were claimed to have been executed.
These non- executed projects according to him include “The gatehouse in central pilot school, Karu, FCT, which was in 2015 action plan, there was the N2.3m for the rehabilitation of 2 classrooms in Rimba, Abaji, 2011, a recreational facility worth N3.9m paid for, then Naharati Tsoho primary school, also a N30.5m construction of 8 classroom, staffroom offices and 2 toilets in Anagada in Gwagwalada among several others were not built.”
PUBLIC CONSCIENCE ON RADIO is an anti- corruption program produced by the the progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG with support from the MacArthur Foundation.