Just like every other project included in the 2016 constituency projects in Ogun State, Ijokun community of Sagamu Local Government Area was sensitized about the provision of the rehabilitation of a block of four classrooms at Saint Paul’s Anglican Primary School Ijokun. Here is a school with not less than three different blocks of existing abandoned classrooms at the period of first visit.
On hearing about this provision, members of the community were elated at the prospect of getting to benefit from the dividends of democracy in their area. After series of sensitization and town hall meetings, BudgIT was able to get the community members to write to their representatives on the awareness of the project and the need to get it implemented.
Eventually, the project started almost simultaneously with about 10 other classroom construction projects facilitated by Senator Buruji Kashamu representing Ogun East Senatorial District around March 2017. A block of three classrooms with an office was designed to be delivered to the school but this was relatively slow in execution, possibly because the contractor was also in charge of another constituency project within the vicinity at Agbele High School, Sagamu; a project that has not been completed till date.
However, around June 2017, the project was halted. Though some of the construction materials like 19 bags of cement and planks were seen on the site, workers were absent from the work premises.
On discovering the sudden halt, BudgIT’s Project Tracking Officer approached Senator Kashamu’s constituency office where administrative secretary, Chief Tajudeen mentioned that the contractor undertaking the project who also doubles as the senator’s personal assistant has been stopped from handling all projects facilitated by the senator because he was not delivering as a result of fund misappropriation which has been transferred to the ICPC for further investigation.
When reached for comment, the contractor said the Ministry of Education at Sagamu told him to get approval from the state ministry of education before the project could continue; an assertion which the former headmistress of the school attested to, but which she also countered by describing it as a flimsy excuse since getting approval should not take so long.
The effect of the project obstruction has resulted into muddling up pupils in classrooms, thereby making it over congested and unconducive for learning. More so, the present Head teacher with her assistants had to vacate their office, which was converted to a classroom due to the shortage, as they make do with the school’s store as an office. The trio lamented that it would have been far better if their classrooms had been left untouched than to further add to their already existing predicament by dismantling the classrooms they have been managing, only for the renovation to be stopped at lintel level.
More so, the school also mentioned that it has made efforts made towards ensuring the continuation of the project has proven futile. The community members are appealing for the project to be revisited for completion, as it is the case with most other schools captured with the same project.