The students of the prestigious Kaduna Polytechnic raised concern on Saturday, January 7, 2023, over the sorry state of the Rima hostel, popularly known as “Agengunle,” which was abandoned after a federal government intervention to renovate the hostel for a smoother and better atmosphere for the students during academic sessions.
The students, under the leadership of Comd. Abubakar Rabiu, the SUG President of Kaduna Polytechnic, noted that a contractor, KYC Interproject, assumed the duty of renovating the hustle in October 2020 after a major contractor, MarkPoint, handed over the projects, which the federal government awarded via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a capital expenditure of N774 million.
According to Rabiu, students face risk over the delay in renovating the hostel, as no fewer than two thousand students of the institutions were forced to vacate the school for lack of accommodations to rent and stay off campus, despite security threats to both their lives and their academic performance.
The abandoned hostel also poses a serious threat to students, especially the female students whose hostels border the abandoned Rima hostel. Dangerous animals like snakes and their kind that are possibly living comfortably there can expose danger or cause someone to pay with their life if not addressed.
Therefore, we call on the federal government to immediately revoke the contract for the hostel renovation from both the subcontractor and the contractor for their failure to deliver their assigned duties and complete the hostel’s renovation, which may have contributed positively to students’ education and well-being. He added
However, the SUG President of Kaduna Polytechnic’s press statement, which also served as a rejoinder, came hours after the leadership of the national association of polytechnic students alleged a compromise in the hostel renovation.
In response to both parties’ concerns, Daily Episode contacted both the institution’s management and the KYC Interproject for clarification on the state of the projects, why the project was abandoned, and the lines of agreement between the contractor MarkPoint, the subcontractor KYC Interproject, the institution’s management, and the federal government of Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of the institution, Abubakar Ikra Baballo, a member of the deanery session of the institution, noted that their major concern is to see the hostel renovated to the standard the contractor promised within a short period of time.
The institution has put many measures in place to ensure that the renovations take place, including engaging the federal government and the ministry of education, but some students, surprisingly, choose to take sides with no regard for the student’s demands.
According to him, Kaduna Polytechnic accommodates students from all zones of the country, and the institution’s hostels accommodate about six to eight thousand students, so the government’s intervention to renovate the school hostel for the students’ satisfaction was warmly welcome.
I recall the projects being handed over to KYC Interproject in October 2020, who promised to renovate the hostel to a five-star hotel standard within six months, but I believe you have seen for yourself the position and condition of the hostel since then, in 2020, 2021, 2022, and now 2023, all because the contractor refuses to do their work.
We have students who need accommodations; we need to see them within the school, but we are short of hostels, and the country’s security threat is quite high for students staying off campus. Ikra added.
However, Daily Episode made several phone calls and text messages to the contracting company, KYC Interproject, but the company did not return a call or respond to a text message seeking clarification on why the hostel renovation was abandoned.