Delay to construct FBC hostels, Technical Institute…

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IDEAS Limited Faces Wrath of Education Ministry, Parliament

January 28, 2019

By Jariatu S. Bangura

Deputy Minister of Tertiary and Higher Education and Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Education have expressed disappointment over the failure of IDEAS Limited and contractors to hand over the Fourah Bay College (FBC) hostels and that of the Government Technical Institute on the expected date.

Speaking in a meeting held on Friday with IDEAS Limited-a consultancy firm- and the engineering company that is supervising the construction of an institute in Kambia district, FBC and Government Technical Institute in Sahn Malen, Pujehun district, Dr. Turad Senesie expressed disappointment in the consultants and contractors as both have failed the country.

He said the timeline given for the completion of the projects has elapsed with nothing tangible achieved.
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“We are disappointed as a ministry with the way and manner in which the consulting firm and contractors are treating us. Since my appointment, I have monitored all the projects that are under our supervision. We discovered lots of problems when we visited the sites. Many calls have been made to these people. I have letters in my possession wherein the same consultants wrote to us for complete job, but they are very weak,” he said.

He accused IDEAS Limited of not taking them seriously, but rather focusing their attention to other projects and leaving those of government far behind.

He said the construction work was supposed to have been completed since September, last year, but nothing of such has been achieved.

“We are happy and grateful that MPs have now come in to address the issue. I could vividly remember the last time we called on MPs to launch the project, but unfortunately, the buildings were not completed. They told us that they have completed the work, but it’s the other way around,” he said.

Dr. Senesie urged the committee to support them fulltime so that monies spent by government on those projects could be realised.

He said they have invited the companies and the consultants to several meetings in order to chart the way forward, adding that the ministry has handed over two of the contractors to the ACC for investigation as they received monies without undertaking any tangible work.

He said they have been deceived by the contractors, noting that when the ministry went to Pujehun for inspections, there were no panels and the road leading to the project sites were not done as expected.

For the FBC project, the deputy minister said had not been for a pressure mounted by outsiders, coupled with the frequent monitoring of the facilities, the project would have been stalled.

“There is too much delay on the process and it has to stop. The contractors and consultants have not done this country justice and such has to stop. It is time for development and work should be done effectively and efficiently. They have deceived the ministry,” he said.

Chairman of the committee, Hon.  Alimamy O. Kamara, assured the ministry that they would be proactive this time, and solicited the support of the ministry.

“We are ready to be proactive this time and the ministry is ready to give us their support. We will have to chase these contractors and consultants to do the work once monies have been given to them for the work,” he assured.

He reiterated that monies have been allocated to the contractors with work yet to be completed.

“We went to Kambia and Pujehun the last time, but we saw no complete work. Make sure you get all the documents you need before the next meeting. For the next meeting, we will have to invite the Anti-Corruption Commission to be present because the time to joke has ended,” he noted.

Hon. Kamara urged the consultants and the contractors to submit bank statements of all transactions from the ESCO accounts, evaluation reports from the supervisory payment, among host of other documents.