Rising from its meeting last Wednesday, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had approved the sum of over 600 million naira for the construction of the faculty of health sciences for the Plateau State University, PLASU, Bokkos. This is no doubt a very cheering news at first instance, so several political gladiators, including the Plateau State Commissioner of Information, Hon. Dan Manjang tried to make political capital out of it.
However, what they failed to let the public know is that, this was a contract that was awarded the outgone Vice Chancellor, Prof. DDD Sheni since 2018 and construction is already at advance stage. For the purpose of clarity, I wish also to state here that the project was referred to the Federal Ministry of Education,FMOE, in error the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yohanna Izam, against extant procurement laws. This is so because any contract that is above procurement threshold of the university is referred to the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, for issuance of a certificate of “No Objection”, which Prof. Sheni did and got the necessary approval before awarding the contract.
Now this avoidable and embarrassing situation PLASU found itself would have been averted if only square pegs were put in square holes at the university. For instance, on assumption of duty at the university in 2018, Prof. Izam rather than hit the ground running, embarked on a vendetta by removing all the qualified officers that were heading some key and strategic departments and units in the university. For example, he removed a barrister who headed the Procurement unit and replaced her with someone who read building education, Mr. Raphael Rume, Prof. John Wade’s nephew. Wade is the Director-General, Research, Documentation and Strategic Planning at the Government House, Little Rayfield, Jos.
He did not stop there, he also removed a registered and highly qualified engineer who was heading the works and physical planning department and replaced him with a retired land surveyor who is in his seventies and a contract staff of PLASU. But in view of the recent directive on the appointment of contract staff of the university, Prof. Yohanna Izam, who is a professor of construction management and suppose to be well acquainted with who ought to be the right person to head the works and physical planning department of the university is now set to move the person who read building education, Mr Raphael Rume from the procurement unit to head the works and physical planning department. This is simply because the VC doesn’t want people who are knowledgeable enough to raise procedural objections anytime one is sighted. Secondly, Mr. Raphael Rume is neither a registered builder nor is he registrable with the Nigeria Institute of Builders, NIOB, which is Izam’s professional body, and which is in clear contravention of PLASU Scheme of Service for Senior Staff (Nov. 2018).
Also worthy of note here is that since the expiration of the tenure of the Prof. Attahiru Jega -led Council of PLASU, the plateau state government has not deemed it fit to constitute another one, that is why Prof. Izam is left to supritend over the university like a sole administrator. I am therefore calling on all professional regulatory bodies in the construction industry to rise to the occasion by beaming their searchlights on the unwholesome and unprofessional conducts of Prof. Izam and PLASU. I am also calling on the Plateau State government to, as a matter of urgency, appoint another council for the university before we have another reenactment of another embarrassing scenario.
Furthermore, for the purposes of clarity and better understanding of the issues at stake, I have attached pictures of the ongoing construction projects that were initiated by Prof. Sheni but only came to fruition when he was gone. These are the faculty of health sciences, the schools of management sciences, social sciences, the multi-purpose auditorium, among several others. Copies of correspondences from TETFUND and BPP are also included so as to clarify certain issues. Please also note that the picture of the uncompleted building is the ongoing construction project of the faculty of health sciences that was approved by FEC last Wednesday.