The Nakuru County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) has uncovered an unfinished construction of a Technical Training Institute which official documents indicate is complete.
The Committee, under the stewardship of County Commissioner Erastus Mbui Mwenda, vowed to seek ‘clarifications’ on the circumstances under which the completion reports were issued, yet the project was 65 per cent complete four years after it kicked off.
The CDICC put on notice the contractor undertaking the construction of Elburgon Technical Training Institute in Molo Sub-County at a cost of Ksh57 million over the slow pace of works and gave him three months to complete the project.
Mwenda, who was accompanied by Richard Tuta from the Presidential Delivery Unit, County Director of Technical and Vocational Education Mbugua Kabaki, County Director of Education Lawrence Karuntimi and other members, on Tuesday, visited various projects within the Sub-County to assess progress, and recommend the way forward to challenges that have delayed completion.
The contractor has so far received a sum of Ksh34 million in payment. The proposed Technical Vocational Education Training Institute project, funded by the National government with a projected capacity of 600 students, commenced in December 2015 and was expected to be completed in December 2016.
“As a committee, we will evaluate and not hesitate to recommend cancellation of all contracts given to lazy contractors in order to make sure that Kenyans get services in the right time.
“We will also be seeking explanations on who and how documents were issued stating that construction of Elburgon Technical Training Institute was complete. There must be value for public funds and government will only work with contractors who are ready to deliver within the agreed timelines and do excellent work,” he was quoted by KNA.
The Contractor, Kiunga Wachira pledged to the Nakuru County Development Implementation Coordination Committee members (CDICC) that he will complete the project within the new timelines issued.
“I will mobilize my team and machines to the site, and promise the works will be completed within three months,” assured Wachira.
Kabaki took issue with the contractor for ‘consistently’ abandoning the site whenever payments are made towards and only resurfacing whenever he gets wind government officers would be touring.
“We do not owe this contractor a penny. He will not receive further disbursements until the project is completed. He has no justification and we challenge him to take note that construction works at Njoro Technical Training Institute, which are of bigger magnitude, are 40 percent complete yet the project kicked off three months ago” stated Kabaki.
The Technical Vocational Education County Director, however, stated that the government had largely achieved its objectives of establishing at least one national polytechnic in every county and technical colleges in constituencies.
“In Kuresoi South, Kuresoi North and Bahati Sub counties Kiptaragon, Total and Heroes Technical Training Institutions respectively have been constructed and completed. They were each built at a cost of Ksh57 million, allocated a total of Ksh300 million for procurement of training equipment and a further Ksh4 million each for purchase of furniture.
“The Njoro Technical Training Institute construction works are 40 percent complete while works for construction of Subukia Institute will begin once the tendering process is over.
“Nakuru Town West, Nakuru Town East and Gilgil Sub-Counties are yet to identify land where the Ministry is expected to construct a TVET. As for Rongai, we will not construct a TVET as it is the catchment area of the modernized Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology,” stated Kabaki.
He warned contractors that the ministry will not tolerate lazy contractors and shoddy workmanship and may be compelled to make recommendations of cancellation of such individuals.
Kabaki, however, hailed contractors who had successfully undertaken projects for helping the national government achieve its objective of investing in technical institutions to boost industrial development.
“The Government has a mandate to fund and monitor these technical institutions because we need technical skills, which are critical to development,” he highlighted.