Monday, 8 July 2024.

Top 5 This Week

Related News

Investigation: The unutilised skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam

By Archibong Jeremiah | TheInvestigator

  • This report exposes an unused skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam LGA, Akwa Ibom State, commissioned in 2023 but remains empty and overrun by weeds.
  • Residents express disappointment at the nature of the facility, emphasising the need for furniture and equipment to make it functional.

On the 6th of July 2022, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals contracted Clover Nigeria Limited to construct a skill acquisition centre (type A) at Ikot Okoro in Oruk Anam LGA, Akwa Ibom State for ₦48,557,083.43.

Clover Nigeria Limited registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on 22nd April 1982 and its RC number is 46773. Anago Sammy Peters and Celina A. Peters are the directors. It is a private company limited by shares and its type of activities are unspecified.

Records from GovSpend, an analytics tool designed to give user-friendly access to information on daily spending at all levels of government, show that the payment number is 1000959247-36 and the payer code is 0111005001.

The project was a constituency project by Hon. Unyime Idem, a member representing the Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

Investigation: The unutilised skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam

TheInvestigator findings reveal that the project was commissioned in mid-2023 and has since remained under lock and key. A recent visit to the location on July 1st, 2024 shows that weeds have taken over the premises (in and out).

Empty Hall, No Equipment

Sunday Micheal, a native of the community, was curiously observing from a distance as he watched TheInvestigator move around taking pictures of the skill acquisition centre. Unable to hold his curiosity, he approached this reporter “Sir, why are you snapping this place, I’ve been watching you from a distance. Hope all is fine?” he questioned.

After a brief explanation by this reporter, Sunday maintained “It is nice to know journalists go around to check if projects are working. I do hear but today I have an encounter.

Investigation: The unutilised skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam

“The project has been completed since early 2023 and commissioned in the middle of the year. But it is just an empty building, no furniture, nothing. We had thought the next step would be to furnish it because we can’t use it without chairs, tables, a public address system, light, fan and so on.”

Mfon-Ima Akpan who dreams of becoming an engineer said she can’t wait for the center to be fully functional. She said “I hear it is a place to learn things, I can’t wait because I would love to learn soap making and how to operate a computer. I want to be an engineer.”

Investigation: The unutilised skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam

Affirming that the skill acquisition centre is empty she said “My uncle who told me of the place says it is empty and the government is supposed to put chairs, tables and other things before we can use it.”

Doom For The Community

Barrister Clifford Thomas, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Civic Education, Human Rights and Development Advancement (FoCEHRaDA) when contacted by TheInvestigator said the state of the skill acquisition center holds doom for the community if not utilised.

“It is doom because if you complete a project and claim you have handed it over to the community, the community ought to put it into use. You can’t hand over a building like a skill acquisition centre without the furnishing and equipment. Equipment must be there, it is after completing the building and equipping the place that you hand over to the community. A committee from the community would be put in place to manage it and see to it that it is run properly, and things are not vandalised.”

Warning he said “But if you claimed to have completed it and handed the empty hall to the community the prospect of vandalisation is there. If he has done that type of thing and has not completed it, the completion means the equipment is there. If it is just the building, you must have an agreement on how they use it, and what measures are put in place to manage it.”

Investigation: The unutilised skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam

On the way forward Clifford said, “If you call it a skill acquisition centre without the equipment it is an ordinary building that could be used for anything, he has to go back and furnish the place.”

The facilitator, Hon. Unyime Idem, a member representing the Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives was contacted by TheInvestigator to explain why the skill acquisition centre remains unused.

He explained “My work as their representative is to attract projects/programmes that I believe are capable of transforming the lives of the people. In the next stage after handing over like I did during the commissioning (2023) the community will now set up a management team that will drive the process. I think they are still on it as time goes on the management team will be in place.”

Investigation: The unutilised skill acquisition centre in Oruk Anam

About why the type A facility is not in use over a year after commissioning he said, “They will use it for whatever programme they have. I received a call from an indigene of Oruk Anam who is in the USA that he wants to take over the place and use it for youth training, I told him it is available. He went to the Paramount Ruler, I think very soon he will take over the place for that purpose.”

On why it was not furnished the PDP legislator said “That is what was in the plan and that’s why that investor is coming to use it. I showed them the plan, I think when the investor starts work it will be completely put to use.”

TheInvestigator produced this story through its Environmental and Accountability Reporting (EAR) project with support from CITAD and the MacArthur Foundation.

Get Faster News Update By Joining Our: WhatsApp Channel

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
We are a team of experienced journalists, bloggers, writers, columnists, and content creators. We are first to breaking news, top stories and insights.

Latest News