The Nigeria Ministry of Education has cautioned Vice-Chancellors of universities and other heads of tertiary institutions against construction of shoddy structures and engagement of incompetent contractors to execute projects in the nation’s institutions.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc Sonny Echono, said Heads of National Universities Commission (NUC), the funding agencies, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) were recently advised to ensure that the quality of buildings improve across all schools.
He noted that there has been tremendous improvement in the quality buildings across public tertiary institutions since he came on board as Permanent Secretary of the education ministry.
According to Echono, “Indeed my first meeting with Vice-Chancellors, Provosts and Rectors of our Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education as well as their Governing Councils, just a few months i got into the Federal Ministry of Education, I made the point that the mere fact that i am here, and i am a trained architect, presupposes that going forward any structure we are going to put in any of our institutions must reflect the leadership, something i can relate with, something i can be proud of.
“We sent the message out and we have been working with primary agencies involved in the provision of these infrastructures, National Universities Commission (NUC), the funding agencies, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) that the quality of our buildings must improve,” he added.
Speaking on procurement processes, the Permanent Secretary said the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Education have ensured that the procurement processes are such that will deliver competent contractors with track record of performance.
According to him, “I can confirm that there has been very significant improvement in the quality of these buildings in the recent past.
“The ones we inherited, some of them i actually feel ashamed to associate myself with them,” he added.
Echono pledged to galvanise efforts towards tackling the problem of incessant building collapse in Nigeria.
He noted that it was tremendous privilege to lead the body of architects in Nigeria for two years, saying he would focus on projecting the important role architects play in the society.
“If you look at the quality buildings being built around the country today, the average life-span is 20 to 30 years and no country can afford that kind of waste.”