A federal lawmaker representing Ilorin East & South federal constituency, Hon. Saka Cook Olododo, facilitated a 3-classroom project but a block of two classrooms was delivered, SaharaReporters investigation has revealed.
According to the 2021 Zonal Intervention Project document seen by SaharaReporters, the project titled, ‘Construction of a block of 3 classrooms at St. William LGA Primary Taiwo Isale in Ilorin South LGA Kwara State’, was earmarked to be built with a budgeted sum of N20,000,000.
Further findings revealed that the project was awarded to FON Apple Integrated Service and brought under the supervision of the Department of Physical Planning, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
A visit to the project location by SaharaReporters revealed that it was a block of two (2) classrooms that were constructed, not three (3) as earmarked in the ZIP document.
“When they [those that built the project] came, we challenged them that it was a block of three classrooms they informed us that they would build for this school. We even showed them a copy of the document that we could find, but they told us it was not the same project.
“They told us that we should tell them if we don’t want the classes for the school so that they would take it to those who need them,” one of the teachers in the school told SaharaReporters.
“We were deceived. It was the same project. They were supposed to build three classrooms for us but instead of three classrooms, they built two,” another teacher noted.
One of the sources continued: “As I am speaking to you, we are suffering from inadequate classrooms, the two classrooms they built can only try to solve the problem but have been unable to solve our problem. We are still merging some classes in one classroom.”
When SaharaReporters spoke to Saka’s project manager, commonly known as Mr Abiodun, he said, “Our duty is to facilitate the project, it is the function of UBEC and the contractor to execute it.”
When he was asked if he had ever tried to confirm if the project facilitated was the one built for the people of their constituency, he referred SaharaReporters to another man named Mr Alajo Yahaya, whom he said was in a better position to answer the question.
However, when SaharaReporters contacted Mr Alajo, he told our correspondent to send the ZIP document used to track the project to verify our findings. Four days after sending the document to him, Mr Alajo kept giving excuses anytime SaharaReporters reached out to him.
“Hello, I’m in Ilorin now, when I get back to Abuja next week, I will get the relevant document to verify the one you sent to me,” he said in his last chat with SaharaReporters.
Since then, he has not responded to subsequent messages from SaharaReporters.
Also, all efforts to reach out to FON Apple Integrated Service were unsuccessful as the company’s contact could not be found online. And several messages sent to Onyemem Ndubuisi Frank, the Managing Director of the company, on social media were not replied to at the time of filing this report.
Mr David Apeh, UBEC Public Relations Officer, told SaharaReporters that constituency projects are facilitated by lawmakers, adding that they are the ones in the best position to answer the question surrounding the project.