N400m Oyo school building fails structural test in less than two years

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Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday, paid an unscheduled assessment visit to Oba Akinbiyi High School, Oremeji, Ibadan, to physically assess the structural challenges in the school building.

The school was built by the immediate past administration of late governor Abiola Ajimobi via direct labour at a cost of N400 million.

According to Makinde, the initial contract for the building was cancelled and subsequently approved to be executed by Direct Labour.

A statement by Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor indicate that state officials have been asked to investigate the reason behind the immediate past administration’s termination of contract for the school building and the subsequent approval for its execution by Direct Labour at the said cost.

The governor was accompanied to the school by the Commissioner for Education, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, officials of the Ministry, the Auditor-General of the State and officials of the Ministry of Works, among others.

The governor said, “In the file that came to me, this place was commissioned the week that I took over, 29th of May, 2019, a year plus ago. You can see it out there. Even the Oba Akinbiyi they wrote (the signboard) there, is falling off. If you go inside, the tiles are broken.

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“The structural integrity of the entire building is doubtful, and we have teachers and students in there. We don’t want the building to collapse on anybody. So, we came to check.

“The borehole is not working. According to the principal, they have 57 toilets in here, but the students still go to the bush to do stuff. From the report that came to me, the contract was terminated from the original contractor and over N400 Million was released by the government to complete it through direct labour.

“So, I believe they will have to make some explanations as to why, first, the contract was terminated; second, why N400 Million was spent and the tiles, the doors, everything is basically broken.”

Governor Makinde pledged to investigate the structural challenges in the building, stating that anyone found culpable would be made to face the wrath of the law. He asked the Auditor-General and the Ministry of Works to investigate the situation further and get back to him.

“If, in one year, this whole thing is fallen into pieces, and people build their own houses and expect to live there for at least 25 years, this is obviously not acceptable to us. And we will get to the root of it,” he stated.

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The statement maintained that the visit became important following reports that the building has structural challenges and staffers and students could not feel at ease inside the structure completed only a year and some months ago.

The governor said his administration would not watch while the lives of teachers and students are endangered.

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