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Despite N6.5b TETfund allocation, UI completes seven out of 42 projects in seven years
The University of Ibadan has received a total of N6.5 billion between 2011 and 2014 from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund). The fund is meant to construct 42 different structures on campus, but four years after, only seven of the buildings were completed, and three were done without following the Fund’s specifications.
Due to this poor project performance, the University has been unable to access annual allocation from TETfund since 2014.
Executive Secretary of TETfund, Abdullahi Baffa said the University of Ibadan would not be considered for the disbursement of 2018 allocation from the Fund because of its backlog of unaccessed funds.
According to Baffa who was at the University to commission the six completed projects, in line with the Performance Index Disbursement (PID) Model which TETFund operates, the University of Ibadan cannot commence the draw-down of its 2015, 2016, 2017 and even the about to be released 2018 allocations unless it meets the requirements for such.
“These are part of the 42 projects that TETFund is financing at the University of Ibadan from 2008 to 2014, costing about N6.5billion,” Baffa said, and lamented that three out the six commissioned projects were “not really the way we want to see them and we have already taken steps to correct that.”
Six of the projects were sited on the main campus of UI while the seventh one was on the College of Medicine at the University Teaching Hospital (UCH).
The projects identified as poorly done include Virology Department Project, Faculty of Science Lecture Theatre and the Food Science Technology Laboratory building.
He said TETfund’s technical team would return to the University of Ibadan to follow up on the completion of these projects.
“There are Year 2015, 2016, 2017 allocations that they are yet to be able to draw from and we will soon release the 2018 allocation which they will not be able to draw from until they are able to close down 2011 to 2014 merged allocations.
“Our interventions are such that we allocate resources but we disburse such resources when you have been able to fulfil the requirements,” he said.
He maintained that part of the requirement is that benefiting institutions must perform such that
the money that was given previously must be utilized and retire.
“We come to monitor the project, commission the project, and ensure you have made judicious utilization of the money before we can give you another one,” Baffa said
The TETfund Executive Secretary insisted that the management of the Fund would expect the University of Ibadan to complete the projects which it has started with the merged 2011 to 2014 allocations saying “when they finish and retire the money properly, they can then commence the drawdown of the un-accessed allocations”
“To call a spade with no other name, the contractors handling these projects at University of Ibadan are not performing up to our expectation and I have already drawn the attention of the management of the University of Ibadan to try and complete these projects, especially the Faculty of Science Auditorium, the Food Science Technology Laboratories and the Virology Department Complex.
“The University Management I am sure will also take the necessary steps to ensure the contractors are called back to site to do what is needful to ensure that the agreement they have signed with the University as far as the quality and the deliverable of the projects are met before we will be able to accept these projects are completed projects,” he added.
An official of the Department of Monitoring at TETfund who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press told The ICIR that the Fund wrote a letter to the management of the University in 2016 on the number of uncompleted projects.
“Sometime in 2016, we wrote to them about the uncompleted projects and the need for them to ensure that they were completed,” the official said.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Admin of the University, Kayode Adebowale in a telephone conversation told The ICIR that there were many projects, more than six that have been completed by the University.
“There are many projects that have been completed, it is just that there are some that are still ongoing. As in there are some challenges with fluctuation, with one thing or the other. It is not that UI has done very badly,” he said
When asked why three of the projects that were commissioned were not done to specifications, he said the Secretary came to commission six projects, but the completed projects are indeed seven.
The Director of Public Communications of the University, Tunji Oladejo told The ICIR in a phone interview, that the university management is committed to completing the remaining projects so that it could access the funds that are hanging with TETfund.
“The Vice-Chancellor had told me that we should do the needful for all the projects to be completed to specifications.”
However, a highly placed source in the University who witnessed the commissioning of the projects by the Executive Secretary of TETfund confirmed that some of the commissioned projects were indeed deficient.
He disclosed that a contractor that handled one of the projects which were awarded about eight years ago complained that he was being owed by the University.
“Let me provide a clearer picture, about two of them were expected to be equipped with laboratory equipment, so when he got there, the laboratory equipment was not there but the Food Science Technology Laboratory had some partnership with some private sector.
“More than N30million equipment had been given to UI and they are ready to give more, they only needed a building where those things will be put for practical use of our students. So the building as at the time he came for commissioning, there was no way that equipment could be put in that particular building until that particular side was handed to UI.
“But he had made his commitment. I’m not saying that there were no deficiencies in that particular building but he said, if UI must accept anything, it must be the best for UI and he said it is about three or four times that UI should be seen as a model for other universities to emulate,” he said
According to him, the Flour mill specifically has donated more than N30million equipment to UI but “it needs a building where that equipment can be used for practical work but that building is now ready.”
He further disclosed that Baffa drew the attention of the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at TETfund to note that the contractor should be brought back to the site to complete what he has not completed.
“Then, the second one, he also complained about the chairs and this is a project that was given to that contractor about eight years ago and the contractor said that they are still owing him,” he added.
Asked who is responsible for the payment to the director, the source said, ” I don’t know, but I think they normally release the money in tranches. When I accosted him, he said they are still owing him, who owes him, I did not go further to ask him. The chairs were not good standard let me put it modestly.”
He admitted that the University has 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 allocations to be accessed, saying ” but by the tradition of TETfund if you do not complete the one that that is given to you, you cannot access those ones.”
“It is now that we have closed up that of 2014 that we can now draw from those that are outstanding.”
Available records revealed that the Federal Government has budgeted N250million for capital projects at the University of Ibadan. Between 2015 and 2016, its capital budget was N53million while it was N64million and N79million for the 2017 and 2018 budget,
However, according to a document of capital budget performance obtained by The ICIR from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, only N32million of the N64million capital project vote in 2017 was released to the University by the Federal Government.