On November 20, 2018, Daily Trust Newspapers, in its opinion page published an article entitled “Kano multi-storey car park abandoned.” The author of that article, Deborah Philips, claimed to have written from Bayero University, Kano (BUK). Going by the extent of her naivety, as expressed through her choice of words and sense of judgment in the said article, one will not be wrong to doubt if Deborah actually exists—that is, if it is not a fake name, she surely is not a resident of Kano state.
Be that as it may, Deborah in that article made one indisputable assertion, saying that: “It is high time our politicians stopped being selfish, avoid animosity between themselves and be selfless. That will do our country much good and save our resources. It will increase our revenues and also create more job opportunities for the citizenry. Continuity should be their utmost priority.”
I say a big kudos to Deborah to have pointed out the above, which is, indeed, one of the cardinal policies of Kano state Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. In Nigeria’s political lanscape today, there is no doubt that Governor Ganduje has been rightly dubbed “the continuity Governor,” and this is evident in what is already on ground. Governor Ganduje, apart from initiating and completing a lot of projects visible across the 44 Local Government Areas in the state, he has also completed dozens of abandoned projects by past administrations, including the Murtala Mohammed Way Fly Over; President Muhammdu Buhari Specialist Hospital, Gingiyu; Khalifa Sheikh Ishyaku Rabi’u Pediatric Hospital, Zoo Road, among many others.
Now, for the records, it is important to enlighten people like Deborah Philips on the real issues surrounding the said “abandoned” car park in Sahuci. The contract for that project was awarded to Messrs Rocad Construction Ltd at the cost of N877, 655, 748.27, as approved by Kano state Executive Council on 24th February, 2014. The contractor consequently commenced work under the care of a consulting firm known as Messrs Masterplan Development Company Ltd. As the project reached certain level, some defects were identified, with regards to structural elements of the complex. As a result of this, there was call for specific tests, which involved: non-destructive test on structural elements using smith Hammer on beams, slabs and columns; cored test from floor slabs; as well as visual inspection, among others.
The tests were carried out by several laboratories and the results obtained revealed that: the existing slab thickness is 200mm upon analysis and check against the deflection, of which four of the panels were filled up due to inadequate depth, hence posed great threat to the entire structure, making the structure unsafe for moving loads; some of the beams failed in shear; columns 0f 100×600 are all found to be adequate; based on the structural drawings obtained, the foundation square footings 4000mmx4000mm will be adequate for soil bearing capacity of 210KN/m2 for centre columns and 150KN/M2 for edge columns; the existing staircase of 150mm were found to be failed; just as the pull down pedestrian bridge lacked integrity.
As a result of the above revelations, Kano state Government was advised to change the purpose of the project, in order to be on the safer side. Consequently, the Managing Director of Kano state Urban Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA) was directed to liaise with the state Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for further action. They formally wrote to the state Ministry of Justice for legal advice, as well as to get them updated with all relevant information involving the contract.
In compliance to the above, it was, however, observed and established that the contract for the said car park project had the consultancy services charge of seven (7) per cent of the entire project sum of N877, 655, 748.27, which is equivalent to N 754, 815, 984.27. It is also pertinent to note that the cost of the surviving permanent works executed by the contractor is in the sum of N421, 765, 504.00.
However, in order to facilitate the determination of the initial contract, the financial positions of both the contractor and the consultant ought to be highlighted, for the sake of transparency. The consultant known as Messrs Masterplan Development Company Ltd was entitled to a balance sum of N1, 174, 628.93, after being paid the sum of N23, 492, 564.00, out of the negotiated consultancy services of N24, 667, 192.93 for surviving stages of part one and part two of the project by 60 (sixty) per cent, and the consultant failed in his responsibility by 40 (forty) per cent.
Equally, the contractor, Messrs ROCAD Construction Ltd claim of N207, 624, 530.10, has been pruned down to N95, 189, 267.71 which is also the contractor’s balance for the surviving units of the complex in addition to the advanced sum of N263, 116, 724.48, after the integrity test.
On this premise, the Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration, after due consultations and advise from experts and stakeholders, decided to withdraw and decommission the initial concept of the project as a car park to a shopping complex, for the interest of the state and the good people of Kano state. The shopping complex is billed to take off under Private Public Partnership (PPP).Finally, I wish to call on people like Deborah Philips to understand the workings and policies of government before criticizing out of ignorance or outright mischief. The Ganduje’s administration is the champion of continuity. Any project, abandoned or uncompleted by previous administrations and does not worth the salt, can be fine-tuned, for the interest of the good people of Kano state. Governor Ganduje remains the people’s Governor and can never move against the interest of the people.
Malam Muhammad Garba is the Hon. Commissioner of Information, Youths and Culture, Kano State.