The flood menace incidences which is gradually taking over the Kaduna State polytechnic and its campuses with devastating impacts has raised serious concern on the plight of students in the institution. CHIKA OKEKE writes that worried by the unfortunate yearly occurrence, President Muhammadu Buhari has adopted a remedial management strategy aimed at resolving the pitfall.
The Kaduna Polytechnic is one of the oldest institutions in Nigeria. It was founded in 1956 as Kaduna Technical Institute before it was re-designated as the Polytechnic, Kaduna on August 17, 1962 during the Northern Nigeria Executive Council (NNEC) meeting.
Though it became Kaduna Polytechnic in 1968 it was taken over by the federal government in 1991.
However, the gradual erosion and flooding witnessed in one of its campuses; College of Environmental Studies (CES), Barnawa, led to the award of contract for erosion and flood control project in dilapidated building infrastructure in Colleges, Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State.
The project, which is one of the eighteen federal government’s ecological interventions for the 1st quarter of 2018 was approved by Mr President on May 17,2018 and awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on August 8, 2018.
It was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention from the Rector, Prof Idris Bugaje and forwarded to the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), to address the continuous flooding and erosion menace within the CES, so as to avoid further loss of properties.
In fulfillment of President Buhari’s desire to alleviate the predicament of the student’s and school management, the project was awarded to Messers Raycon & Co Limited at the cost of N725, 050, 776.20.
Speaking at the commissioning and handing over of the project in Kaduna recently, President Muhammadu Buhari noted that the age-long problem of gully erosion and flooding within the school environment cannot be overemphasised.
He was optimistic that the intervention would bring huge relief in the school community, which he said suffered ecological challenge for a very long time.
Buhari pointed out that his granting approval of the project is an attestation to his administration’s promise that no part of the country would be neglected due to its geographical location or political affiliation.
Represented by the chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, Sen Hassan Mohammed Gusau, he was hopeful that the project would bolster the living standard of the people within the school and its environs.
In her address, the permanent secretary of EFO, Dr Habiba Lawal emphasised that the timely completion of the project was due to the efforts of the project contractor and consultant, who worked harmoniously to ensure minimum loss of time in the project implementation schedule.
She noted that the success of the project was also complemented with the close monitoring and prompt honouring of all contractual obligations by the EFO.
Lawal, who was represented by the director II, Soil Erosion and Flood Control Department of EFO, Mr Mathias Eluma disclosed that the commissioning and handing over of the project was meant to achieve the dual purpose of enabling the host community to take over and exercise ownership of the project for proper maintenance and sustainability.
She cautioned the students and school management against converting the project as a refuse site.
On his part, the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai appreciated the federal government for considering Kaduna State in its ecological intervention projects.
He hinted that about 18 ecological intervention needs were forwarded to EFO, expressing optimism that federal government would consider the State for more projects.
el-Rufai, who was represented by the commissioner for Environment, Kaduna State, Hon Ibrahim Hussein noted that the State has about 250 ecological degraded sites, saying that the State has just been included in Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) project.
The governor pleaded with the EFO to integrate the State government in the implementation of the project without having access to the bill of quantities, saying that the State’s engineers and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) could assist in monitoring the project for effective implementation.
He disclosed that the host community may not key into the project if they were not involved in the implementation stage, just as he wondered if the intervention would last for 35 years like similar roads constructed with Asphalt.
According to him, “If the community and school management are part of the implementation, they will add value to the project”.
The rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Prof Idris Mohammed Bugaje said the intervention was timely, considering its efforts to renew and rebuild Kaduna polytechnic, adding that it helped to rejuvenate the campus.
Bugaje requested for more interventions in the CES, stressing that despite its carriage as one of the oldest institutions, that it has become dilapidated.
He requested the support of the federal government to enable the institution reclaim its pride of place, appealing to other federal government agencies to assist Governor el-Rufai in bringing more interventions in the State.
Also, the project consultant, Mr Stephen Igweokoro of Messers Raycon and Co Limited, who explained the scope of the project, noted that it involved drainages, earthwork, road construction and among others.
He thanked the school management for their cooperation during the execution of the project, which he said was completed in due time.