The construction of a Hospital at the Federal Government College Kwali in Federal Capital Territory (FCT-Abuja) has remained uncompleted one year after it was awarded to Jewel Construction and Engineering Services Limited at the price of N22,578,425.00
The hospital which is a federal government project is being supervised by the ministry of education and is meant to provide adequate healthcare to over 500 students in the College.
Good as this initiative sounds, a visit to the project site shows it has continued to remain uncompleted one year after it was awarded in 2021.
In the project execution, only the hospital building has been erected and no single medicine and medical equipment have been delivered as part of the deal.
This is even as the deal requires the Ministry of Education to build and equip the hospital, an obligation that has not been met by the ministry.
Worse still, a senior official of the college, who spoke at the school premises, disclosed that the school authority did not take part in any need assessment, contract award selection process, or any other form of consultation regarding the project.
He, however, narrated how the contractor came into the school and asked for the location for the hospital construction.
Federal Government Collage Kwali is not an exception, often communities are not consulted for need assessments and inputs on projects that are sited in their area. The practice is, government officials and contractors agree on a deal and the community is only asked to make project location available. And, in some instances, locations are chosen without the community’s input or consent.
This approach often contributes to the community’s inability to hold the government accountable for projects. And, this is mainly because they do not have information on the project and cannot play any oversight role.
Checks on Jewel Construction and Engineering Services, show it was registered on the 3rd day of October 2013. And, worse still, its status shows inactive, a clear indication that it defaults in filing its annual return to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Under the standard practice and procedure, a defaulting company that does not file an annual return to the CAC ought not to be qualified for a contract award in public project works.
It is unclear how the Education Ministry awarded N22.5 million contract to a defaulting company that should be screened out from the bidding process.
Again, it is unclear where the Education Ministry got the mandate to build a hospital when the Ministry of Health and Primary Healthcare Development Agency exist. And, this practice has continued to happen in Nigeria as a result of unchecked corruption that is predominant in public service. This is even as the resultant effects of this are the predominantly poor and abandoned projects that are found all over communities in Nigeria.
The Education ministry is not the only offender, often, Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs) violate procurement laws and procedures and award contracts to unqualified companies. In some instances, fake companies.
When the Education Ministry was asked to provide details about the project, award process, and payment made, using the Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it declined.
MAWA-Foundation sought an explanation from the Education Ministry through office of the Permanent Secretary, but he declined to comment.