The Management of University of Eldoret has appealed to the government to prevail upon a contractor to hasten the completion of a three-story school of economics project that has taken more than four years.
The Vice-chancellor Professor, Teresa Akenga, said the University urgently requires to make use of the facility to accommodate students who need extra space due to the Covid-19 pandemic and adhere to Ministry of Health protocol.
The first class of economics students who expected to use the Sh242 million project did their final examination in December last year and were not happy that they completed their course without using a facility that was meant for their learning said the VC.
Speaking during a tour of national government-funded projects in the institution by the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) led by Uasin Gishu County Commissioner (CC), Stephen Kihara, Prof. Akenga said though the project was at 95 per cent completion, the contractor had not been keen on completing and handing it over to the University.
“We want the project completed and handed over urgently to provide extra space so that our students can maintain social distance during lecturers to minimize the spread of the Corona pandemic,” stressed the VC.
“Despite various communication with the contractor who has been giving promises to complete the project, he has been playing a cat and mouse game with us despite being paid Sh94 million in December and without any unpaid pending certificate,” she added.
The project was started in 2016 and was expected to be completed by September 2017.
Prof. Akenga said the project was critical, particularly at this time of Covid-19 because students need space.
“With Covid-19, demand moved a notch higher in infrastructure needs and we need the project delivered in good time,” she said.
She also suggested that the government should in the future be advising clients on the performance of contractors for evaluation purposes, especially for capital projects in public institutions to ensure Wanjiku gets value for money.
“As it is, I feel Wanjiku has not gotten value for money in the implementation of the school of economics project, its progress has gone way above its completion date,” said the VC.
Other projects being implemented through National Government funding at the University include a Sh373 million Amphitheatre that is at 45 per cent completion rate and a 9 kilometre perimeter wall being implemented in phases. The project is currently at Phase five.
She, however, thanked the government for supporting the university, saying the construction of the perimeter wall has greatly reduced cases of burglary, theft and vandalism in the institution.
The County Commissioner said the government will not entertain contractors who delay public-funded projects and directed the contractor to develop a Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) programme to ensure he delivers the project before the end of June.
By Kiptanui Cherono