Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Cross River State, Stephen Odey, has informed members of the Cross River State Indigenous Contractors Forum that SUBEB will “go after contractors in the state who abandoned jobs awarded them” in line with government’s commitment to ensure that facilities and infrastructure for the basic education system in Cross River State are in place and functional.
Odey who said this when he granted audience to the Contractors Forum in his office, added that SUBEB under his charge, was determined to ensure that learning effectively takes place in schools, the reason he hopes to partner with indigenous contractors in the execution of jobs to specification.
In a congratulatory message, delivered at the occasion by Effiom Etim Okon, Chairman of the Forum, the contractors congratulated Odey on his recent appointment and subsequent assumption of office, adding that they have watched with keen interest “the bold and purposeful steps” so far taken by Odey.
Okon drew the attention of the Chairman to the Forum’s involvement in the procurement process of the 2011 Universal Basic Education projects. Members he said, tendered in open bids for the jobs and paid applicable tender fees, upon which the Due Process and Price Intelligence Department in the Governor’s Office, Calabar, conveyed then Gov. Liyel Imoke’s approval and awarding contracts to several members of the Forum, even holding a meeting with the Forum and directing contractors to mobilize to site if they have cash.
On the strength of this instruction, a greater percentage of Forum members obtained facilities from banks and commenced work, achieving between 20-40% completion, while government has held back cash mobilization even to contractors who have submitted Bank Advance Payment Guarantees, APG. Okon pleaded that this unfortunate situation be looked into so that the jobs can be completed in line with the desire of the Ayade administration to provide standard infrastructure in the school system.
While Odey promised to look into the matter, he assured the contractors that government will use them since she is interested in building local capacity and thanked them for deeming it fit to pay him a courtesy visit.
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