Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, has threatened to revoke contracts awarded to some private companies for the construction of e-learning libraries in some unity colleges across the six geo-political zones of the country.
The contracts were awarded by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education for the construction of e-libraries and supply of furniture, but most of them have since remained uncompleted.
The development had prompted the Minister of State for Education to summon a meeting involving all the stakeholders’ in Abuja, over the weekend.
Wike said government was disturbed about the lackadaisical attitude of all the stakeholders deployed in handling education projects across the federation.
He particularly took a swipe on some of the commercial banks who hold the funds in trust for government and the contractors, saying “their dubious banking policies constitutes hindrance to achieving set targets in the education sector.
His words: “It may please all the stakeholders, comprising the banks, contractors and UBEC officials gathered here today that this meeting was convened to unravel the root problems militating against the completion of most of government projects bothering on education.
“This meeting is not just for the Girl-Child or Almajiri projects, it was called to find out why there is slow pace of work going-on on all educational project sites.
“Let me warn that government will not hesitate to revoke any contract or melt out sanctions where necessary, if it finds out that UBEC officials, the contractors or the banks themselves are the ones constituting these problems for us.
“Government is aware of some of the shady dealings of Nigerian banks, most of them keep our funds unnecessarily in their coffers to generate interest but we do not say don’t keep our money, what we are saying is do not allow it jeopardize government projects.
“All ministers have signed performance agreement with Mr President; hence we are putting more pressure to see that we all meet our targets and boost our performance rating.”
Meanwhile, as the meeting was being presided over by the Minister, some of the contractors, UBEC officials who ought to monitor the projects and heads of banking institutions traded blames over delay in the contracts.
Some contractors claimed the banks are unyielding in the release of mobilization grants, hence delays in mobilizing their workers to site, while the banks observed that the contractors usually fail to summit their Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) document to them for processing on time.