Michael Olanrewaju, Ilorin.
At least 115 local contractors on Wednesday participated in an open bid held for the renovation of public schools recently advertised by Kwara State Government, in line with the directive of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on transparent procurement process.
Mariam Garba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, said the first phase of Government intervention will involve eight first generation schools in the state which will undergo comprehensive renovation as well as another 23 beneficiary schools selected for the renovation of a number of blocks of classrooms/offices to ameliorate the poor infrastructural facilities in the schools.
She noted that the Ministry would embark on the renovation of 31 public school projects which would be executed under 34 lots at the sum of N2,004,205,641.01.
“The infrastructure decay/deficit inherited is so enormous and cannot be immediately remedied due to the huge cost required. The present administration has therefore demonstrated courage in deciding to institute modalities for the gradual renovation of dilapidated structures and provision of essential facilities that will make public schools in the state conducive for teaching and learning,” Garba disclosed.
“I want to reassure all bidders that this ministry is committed to ensuring that the whole process will be transparent, open, free and fair in line with applicable processes established at Kwara State, ”
The formal bidding saw the ministry’s officials opening and reading out the figures and other details of the bid, including the technical and financial parts of the proposals, with Manjo saying successful bidders would be communicated after the exhaustive processes have been followed.
Some of the contractors who spoke with newsmen commended the state government for the transparency employed in the bidding process and for the confidence it has on local contractors.
The Secretary, Indigenous Contractors in Kwara State, Maroof Ahmed commended the state government for adopting a transparent process.
“The process is transparent. We all saw the opening of the bid – the technical and financial bids were opened in our presence and as far as we are concerned it is transparent. We have the assurance from the Permanent Secretary that everybody will be equally treated.
“We want to thank the state government for patronising the services of indigenous contractors because it has its own merits. An indigenous contractor who wins any of the lots will engage artisans, local drivers, suppliers and the likes and these people make the bulk of our population in the state,” Ahmed explained.
The Vice Chairman, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Kwara State who represented the society at the bid, Engr. Dr. Mrs Temitope Odetoye said that the process is fair, open and transparent as the bids were open in the presence of everyone.
“As Engineers, we have been promoting that indigenous engineers should be patronised. So, we are very happy this is happening. It is a welcome idea. It is like giving back to the system and contribution to socio-economic development. So, our engineers are qualified. They have been trained and should be given the opportunity to contribute,” Engr Odetoye explained.
The 31 public schools, which had earlier been advertised in the newspapers, included Government Secondary School, Alapa, Asa LGA, Community Secondary School, Baboko, Ilorin West LGA, Senior Secondary School, Okelele, Ilorin East LGA, Ansar Islam Secondary School, Ikotun, Oyun LGA, Pategi Secondary School, Patigi LGA, Government Arabic College, Jebba, Moro LGA, Government (Unity) Secondary School, Kaiama, and Osi Central School, Ekiti LGA.