From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Management of Benue State University, (BSU), Makurdi, has confirmed that a wing of the Faculty of Social Sciences Complex housing a Lecture Auditorium has collapsed tragically.
The building was said to have collapsed at the early hours of Sunday, 18th November, 2018, when there were no activities in the complex.
The collapsed building is a TETFund project constructed, completed and handed over by the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University, Charity Angya.
It’s an office complex with a 260 sitting capacity lecture auditorium attached to it.
Our correspondent gathered that the collaped wing housing the lecture hall was yet to be out to use before it fell
In a press statement, the Vice Chancellor of BSU, Prof. Msugh Kembe said the University was saddened by the unfortunate incident.
He expressed gratitude to God that no life was lost except for the damage to some property in the wing of the building and the structural destruction of the complex.
According to him, the contract was awarded in 2013 by the immediate past VC when the university accessed a N3billion TETFund high-impact intervention for upgrading of facilities in public universities.
“The contract period for the building, Whose whose cost was about N280 million, was two years. Consequently, in May, 2015, the university formally took possession of the property”.
Prof Kembe stated that like all projects involving TETFund, all due diligence for pre-selection leading to award of contracts was done before it was awarded.
He therefore appealed for restraints on comments regarding the incident as proper professional investigations are carried out to unravel the cause of the collapse.
“In the meantime, steps have been taken to restrict access into the remaining part of the building while an integrity test will also be carried out on all buildings and structures completed on the University campus recently, especially those funded through various interventions,” Prof. Kembe stated.
He assured the public that “professional bodies such as the Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN), Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors(NIQS), as well as Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) BSU and students will be involved in this assignment and the outcome will be made public”.
He also reiterated that the University management is committed to ensure the incident do not re-occurs again.
Reacting tothe incident, the Head of Political Science Department, Dr. Terkura Tarnade thanked God no one was inside the building when it collapsed.
Ternade who lamented that he and other staff has been displaced from their office by the incidence, dsescribed the building collapse as an additional burden to the infrastructural deficit the school has been battling with.
He also said incident was a clear case of a poorly executed contract.
The Acting Coordinator, Directorate of Physical Planning at the University, Engr. Terhemba Agber said the cause of the collapse cannot be determined untill due integrity test is carried out.
Agber said they school did not witness any natural disaster and as such it is difficult to say the actual cause of the collapse.