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Enugu Gov’t embarks on inspection of smart schools, healthcare projects across state

insists on quality, integrity, and timely delivery_

 

Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has charged contractors and the site engineers handling construction of the 260 smart schools and 260 Type-2 Primary Health facilities in the 260 wards of the state on the delivery of world-class projects that would stand the test of time.

Mbah enjoined them to deploy quality materials and build according to specifications, warning that any sharp practices would attract stiff sanctions and rejection by the government.

He equally underscored the need for contractors to deliver their projects on schedule as stipulated in their terms of contract.

The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia, during an inspection tour of ongoing projects in Ezeagu LGA on Wednesday.

He said the purpose of the inspection by the projects monitoring team, which also compromises the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Gerald Otiji; Commissioner for Education, Prof Nwabueze Mbah; Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Hon. Chris Robert Ozongwu; Chairman of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Dr. Gabriel Ajah; Special Adviser to the Governor on Projects Development and Implementation, Uche Nwatu, among others, was to ensure the quality and integrity of the projects, from start to finish.

“We met with the contractors and their site engineers in all the sites we’ve visited. This is to ensure that there is no variation in the work specification, and that the quality of the materials they are using, starting from the foundation to completion, could guarantee the integrity and structural tests of these projects.

“What His Excellency is setting out to achieve here is to make sure that we did not run the three risks that we know that are eminent in every construction, considering that a time will come in Enugu State when we will have almost five hundred live projects – smart schools, primary healthcare facilities – in all the 260 wards, in addition to the roads constructions that are going on across the board. So, we are building a very strong monitoring team that will address the quality aspect of it.

“We are also taking into consideration the cost risk that comes when the time risk begins to happen, because, once we miss the timeline, the next is that we begin to discuss variation. So, this team here is to ensure that all risks are evaluated and compliance is strictly adhered to.

“We are also working on engaging with the local stakeholders to ensure the security of the process here. So, that will help us address issues around theft of materials we brought to the site. But more importantly is that at the end of each project there will be sustainability and that these stakeholders will take ownership of these schools and other projects in their communities.

“So, it is not just about monitoring, but also about building on all the key facets that will make sure that these projects achieve the objectives to have smart children and smart teachers coming out of our local governments and a smart workforce for the state,” Prof Onyia stated.

That’s why we have accommodation for them and we are also going to ensure that Enugu generally has a smart workforce. That’s why we are here”.

He allayed the fears over the culture of abandoned projects by various strata of the government, saying that the allocation of 33 per cent of the entire 2024 budget to education has guaranteed the start, completions, and handover of the smart school projects on schedule.

On his part, Chairman of ENSUBEB, Dr. Ajah, said they were happy with the quality of work so far, adding that contractors were complying with specifications and corrections were immediately effected wherever there were gaps.

Admonishing communities to take ownership of the projects, he urged them to see the facilities as their own by ensuring the security of the projects.

“Security is everybody’s business. The people are happy. The government has never come to the people at ward level like this before now. So, I am calling on our people to protect these projects from vandals by taking charge and ownership of them”, he concluded.

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