Transparency concerns stall work at FSTC’s female hostel project
Gross lack of transparency and the resultant bickering has succeeded in halting construction works at the multi-million Naira female hostel at the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Yaba, Lagos.
This unfortunate development is leading to a situation, where hundreds of returning female students would be denied accommodation in order to make room for new intakes, who usually enjoy preferential treatment in this regards.
A thoroughly disturbed principal of the institution, Rev. Chris Ugorji, who has decried the lingering face-off between executive members of the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) – sponsors of the project- has appealed to them to urgently tackle the matter in order to restart work on the project, which if not completed in timely fashion, would adversely academic programmes.
Addressing journalists recently on the issue, Ugorji said the college, “Is in dire need of hostel accommodation as two-third of its students are boarders.
The college also needs more classrooms and learning facilities to be able to admit teeming candidates seeking admission into it.” The PTA embarked on the 1, 000-bed space female hostel project some months ago as a way of helping to address the niggling accommodation challenge facing the school.
According to the principal, trouble started, “When a faction of the PTA executives demanded a comprehensive report of what has been expended on the project so far. They employed the services of auditors.
When the audit report was submitted… the group that demanded for the report, rejected it on the ground that it was shoddy. They said they would deploy the services of professionals for thorough auditing and this was what brought the chaos, and they all parted ways in their last meeting.”
Because of the heated disagreement among the PTA executives, the building, which was nearing completion was promptly abandoned. “When the PTA came up with the project during the first term of 2014/2015 academic session, the executives proposed that each student would pay N50, 000.
After due consultations with the entire member of the body, they collectively agreed on N30, 000 per students, spread across three terms. This some students have completed, while some have not.”
However, the audit report, which was rejected, he continued, showed that “N137m was realised from students’ dues, out of which N127m was expended.
The auditors said extra N57m is required to complete the project. “I have advised the other party to do as the other group have requested, so they can resolve their differences and unite in the interest of their children.”
So, “I am appealing to the body to come together since they are important stakeholders of the college. Their disunity would affect both the management, students and general learning atmosphere in the college,” Ugorji stated.
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