ENUGU—The Chairman of Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, ENSUBEB, Miss Nneka Onuora, yesterday, told the state House of Assembly, how the board awarded N600 million contract for the rehabilitation of 500 primary schools, and paid the full contract sum without supervising the job.
The House was also told how water supply in the state was leased out to an unknown company for 25 years by Enugu State Water Corporation.
This was even as the legislators alleged that the contractor renovating the primary schools used thick papers to roof some of the buildings. About N3.6 billion was accessed for the rehabilitation of the schools from the Universal Basic Education Fund after Enugu State government reportedly contributed N1.8 billion as its counterpart fund then.
However, the House, as part of its oversight functions, had summoned both the Commissioner for Education, Professor Uchechukwu Okolo and Miss Onuora to appear before it, in a letter with reference No,ENHA/5/CHA/193//VOL.V11/90 dated March 12 to clarify issues relating to the execution of ongoing projects by ENSUBEB as well as lapses in the management of schools.
Onuoha admitted that she broke procurement and contract award procedures by paying the sole contractor for the rehabilitation and renovation of contract, Emenite Nig Ltd, 100 per cent of the contract sum, adding that the board could not supervise the project because she sacked about 10 engineers working with the board. She told the House that she was overwhelmed by the trappings of the office as she had no prior knowledge of managing such exalted office before her appointment.
“I must say there were lapses. I could not mange the office. The contractors too did not help matters. The procedure for award and payment contravened the law.”
Powers that awarded the contract beyond me
The Commissioner for Education Professor Okolo had also while fielding questions from the legislators conceded that the powers that awarded the contract were beyond him.
State Water Corporation leased out for 25 years
On the concession of the Water Corporation, the House lashed at the Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Michael Nwachukwu for leasing out the Enugu Water Corporation to an unknown company, Goldtrust Limited, for 25 years. The Managing Director,Water Corporation, Mr. Chibuzo Aka, had said: ”I was coerced to sign the document. In the agreement, there were only two signatories including my own. I did not go through the document before I signed it.”