By Steven Enatu
The much anticipated face-lift works at Teso College Aloet have been deferred after the site handover to the contractor was cancelled at the last minute.
The site for the renovations works was supposed to have been handed over to the contractor on Saturday 11th March, 2023.
The suspension of the site-handover followed pre-visit to assess the scope of work by the State Minister for roads and Transport, Hon Musa Francis Ecweru who was a chief guest and his colleague, the state minister for sports in the ministry of Education, Peter Ogwang in company of Engineers and stakeholders.
In their visit which was part of the activity before the official handover ceremony to Gabikan engineering company limited, the team discovered that the Shs4.9billion provided for construction and renovation project is much higher than the approved scope of work.
According to Ecweru, they could not proceed with the site handover until further consultations with the Ministry of Education that awarded the contract are finalized saying more buildings should be added into the contract.
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Education and sports earmarked 6 traditional schools under Uganda Government’s Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Program (UGIFT) for renovations.
These among others include Teso College Aloet. For Teso college, the scope of work includes construction of 8 new dormitories, 4 wash rooms and toilets, rehabilitation of the main dining hall, rehabilitation of A level block, rehabilitation of Agriculture and Geography laboratories.
Speaking to the Media, Ecweru noted that the money is more than the scope of work and the decision to stay the function is to allow them negotiate with the headquarters with a possibility of bringing more ramshackled buildings into the project.
“Yes this contract was awarded at the headquarters but we need to go back and negotiate with them. If we allow the work to go on now, it will get finished and a big gap shall be left behind. Renovation means that some of these buildings will have doors and roofs only removed and new one fixed with painting and construction of wash rooms and dormitories, all are not commensurate with the resources,” he said.
Ronald Mugabi the team leader Gabikan Construction Company limited meant to undertake the project said they were ready and had booked some materials to start the works.
He said that there were twelve companies that applied for the work during the procurement process and their company was selected because their BOQ was the lowest.
“But we have nothing to do, we shall wait for their communication but it has already born cost implications for us, burning fuel coming here, and some materials we had booked,” Mugabi noted.
James Obore, the acting city clerk Soroti city said the contract will last two years under the supervision of the city engineer and clerks of works.
“The Contract has been signed at the headquarters but there are issues we first wanted to seek guidance and consult with the ministry that’s why we have decided this. But this should not bring fear that the project might be affected, no. It will go on, let’s be patient and wait for the outcome of the discussion with the line ministry” he noted.