By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The University of Ibadan has commenced processes towards improving its physical infrastructure with the commissioning of six out of the 42 projects being sponsored by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) at the cost of about N6.5billion.
This was disclosed during the commissioning of the Virology Department Building Phase 1, Food Research Laboratory for Department of Food Technology, Academic Block for the Institute of African Studies, Lecture Theatre for Faculty of Science, Auditorium for the Faculty of Pharmacy, Lecture room and Academic staff offices for the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Speaking during the commissioning exercise, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa lauded the management of University of Ibadan for the feat of remaining the number one ranked university in the country but called on them to work harder towards moving back to its enviable position as one of the best 50 universities in the world before now, a statement by the Director, Corporate Affairs & Public Relations, Ebikwo Benn disclosed.
Recalling that University of Ibadan was the meeting point where decision to establish TETFund, then as ETF was conceived by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Baffa pointed out that the University cannot be found wanting in delivering of qualitative TETFund sponsored projects.
He frowned at the quality of finishing for the Virology Department Project, Faculty of Science Lecture Theatre and the Food Science Technology Laboratory, and directed the management of University of Ibadan to recall the contractors to site and ensure that the projects were completed according to specification.
According to him, “To call a spade with no other name, the contractors handling these projects at University of Ibadan are not performing upto our expectation and I have already drawn the attention of the management of 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.
“These are part of the 42 projects that TETFund is financing at the University of Ibadan from 2008 to 2014, costing about N6.5billion. we have commissioned Six out of these 42 Projects today, and out of these six, three of them are not really the way we want to see them and we have already taken steps to correct that, our technical people from the Fund will return to University of Ibadan to follow up on the completion of these projects and 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.
On the outstanding multi-billion naira allocation to the University of Ibadan which is yet to be accessed, the Executive Secretary explained that in line with the Performance Index Disbursement (PID) Model which TETFund operates, the University of Ibadan cannot commence the drawdown of its 2015, 2016, 2017 and even the about to be released 2018 allocations unless it meets the requirements for such.
“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 the 2011 to 2014 merged allocations. Our interventions are such that we allocate resources but we disburse such resources when you have been able to fulfill the requirements.
“Part of the requirement is that you must perform, the money that was given to you previously, you must utilize them, retire them and 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.
“So we are waiting for the University of Ibadan to complete the projects which it has started with the merged 2011 to 2014 allocations which we have given to the University. When they finish and retire the money properly, they can then commence the drawdown of the yet to be accessed allocations” Dr. Baffa added.
Those that accompanied the Executive Secretary to the commissioning program include Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mallam Umar Mari, Ag. Director, Education Support Services, Arc. Olajide Babatunde, Head of Internal Audit, Mrs. Briggs Ngoba, Deputy Director, Physical Infrastructure Department, Mr. Erivwo Inene, Personal Assistant to the Executive Secretary, Mr. Ali-Jos Kaamil Mohammed, and other staff.