Ten Years After, UNICAL’s N349 Million Faculty Of Law Building Still Not Completed

In Breaking News, Education, Investigation, Reports

By Archibong Jeremiah

The Federal Government of Nigeria under the 2012 budget began constructing a 3 storey Faculty of Law building in the University of Calabar, Cross River State.

The project was facilitated by the Leader of the 7th National Assembly, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, who represented Cross River Central in the Senate at the time. The contract was awarded to Kwao Investments Limited at a sum of N349 Million.

In March 2014, two years after work commenced, the then UNICAL VC, Prof. James Epoke, spoke highly of the project and its facilitator. But his hope of seeing the project completed before leaving office was dashed as work stopped immediately he left office. 

By September 2017, Ndoma-Egba after losing his re-election to the Senate which would have made him a 4th time senator was appointed chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC Governing Board.

During a courtesy visit to NDDC Governing Board Chairman by Prof. Epoke’s successor, Prof. Zana Akpagu and his entourage at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Sen. Ndoma-Egba assured that the building would not only be completed, “but would also be furnished, and would stand out to be one of the best faculties in the country.”

He raised their hopes by adding that NDDC was making efforts to ensure that all on-going projects in universities in the Niger Delta are completed, especially at the University of Calabar being one of the oldest in the region.

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN Chairman Governing Board of NDDC (left) and Prof Zana Akpagu, Vice Chancellor UNICAL (right) exchanging handshakes during the courtesy call on the chairman at NDDC Headquarters in Port Harcourt.

Now, 10 years after the project was awarded, it remains uncompleted. 

School To Begin Using Uncompleted Building

The contractor returned to site late November after abandoning the project for about 5 years.

The contractor Kwao Investments Limited has an inactive status in Cooperate Affairs Commission and has Tawo Etta Tawo, Christiana Tawo and Dave O. Adams as its directors.

CrossRiverWatch found that the company is no longer using its registered address as documented by CAC, Plot 51 Munene street State Housing Estate, Calabar Municipal but No. 214 Afamu Road, Badiko, Kaduna State.

When contacted by this reporter, the contractor refused to comment on the project.

The current UNICAL VC, Prof. Florence Obi who is the first female to occupy that office is the third Vice Chancellor in office since the project began.

She recently told journalists while on a tour of abandoned projects that, “UNICAL has a bad record of being one of the universities with the highest number of Federal Government funded abandoned projects but we are going to change that tide if God willing. We will not want to leave abandoned projects in the university.

“What you just saw is the abandoned Law Faculty project, work is ongoing and we are very sure that in the next few weeks, the ground and first floor will be ready for staff to move in and when we have more money, the second and third floor will be completed.”

A past SUG President of the institution, currently an ex-officio member of NANS, Afufu Anthony Ogar, said it is sad that such a huge project is still uncompleted ten years after.

He said, “for over eight or nine years now that project has been abandoned which is not a good thing entirely. The issues that made it so are begging for answers. The current VC should try and see that the project is completed so that Faculty of Law students will enjoy their studentship like others in and outside the school.”

On reducing the number of abandoned projects in UNICAL, he said: “the VC has the needed experience, she should work more closely with NGOs and good spirited individuals.

“Also, when money is allocated for such a project, the university administration should set up a committee to manage and look into it to ensure that it is used for what it is meant for, the main problem is that they engage watermelon contractors who cut corners.”

See pictures from the site:

This report was published with support from Civic Media Lab.

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