Lawmaker, architect disagree over Nigeria’s infrastructural sustenance culture

Posted by Timige, On 30 Oct, 2023 | Updated On 30 Oct, 2023 No Comments »



A Senator, representing Oyo Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Yunus Akintunde, on Sunday, said the seeming rot in the infrastructural sustenance culture of government at all levels has nothing to do with Nigerian politics and governance.

He made this known on the sideline of Iroko Community Grammar School, 1983 Set 40th Anniversary, held at the school premises in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State.

Akintunde, while reacting to the speech of the Keynote speaker, Architect Oladejo Olawoyin, who had earlier attributed the challenges in the sustenance of public infrastructures to the nation’s politics, said, “I strongly disagree with him. The dilapidation situation of education infrastructure has nothing to do with our political structure. It’s purely a policy issue, and it’s not only educational infrastructure.

“These days, you see so many thousand polls of solar street lights on. Governments are putting them on now. There is no provision for their maintenance, so in five years time, they will all become dead. If you remember former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s era, that was the first time they put on solar street lights on Awolowo Road, old Bodija in Ibadan.

“After about one or two years, the whole thing went off because, while building up our contract, the provision for renovations, maintenance, and rehabilitation has never been part of our contract. Look at most of the buildings here, they were built tens of years ago. But no maintenance. Non-governmental participation, and individual intervention in the nation’s educational sector must be encouraged to reverse the dilapidation of public utilities in Nigeria,” he stated.

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Earlier, Olawoyin had said, “We have done research and discovered that more than 300,000 schools in Nigeria have gone under in terms of dilapidation. Dilapidation is a state of ruin and destruction of infrastructures that are supposed to be maintained. When you don’t have a maintenance culture, it means you have misplaced your priorities.

“In the 60s, a lot of these schools were founded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the South-West. I can tell you that more than 90 percent of these schools, except for the ones on major roads, have gone under.

“Look at the University of Ibadan. We are looking for how to renovate some structures in the University College Hospital and a doctor from the United States said he is going to drop a million dollars. So, we need the involvement of the alma mater. But first, it is not the buildings that are dilapidated, it is our politics. Our education is gone. That is what made me refer to Awolowo.

“Let us have a bottom-up solution. Let the school go back to the missionaries. Obviously, the government cannot handle them anymore. That is the strategy we should adopt around here, even all over Nigeria. Alma mater and endowment should be strong. President Bola Tinubu said to look for what you can do for the country and not what the country can do for you. The country is broke. That is the truth. We have to look inward.

“We did not put the right resources where we are supposed to put it. We actually forgot that education is what it’s going to push us. That was what he (Awolowo) was thinking in the 60s. But we forgot for about five or six decades. Nobody touches these schools. The doors, roofs, and other components have fallen off,” he noted.

Source: Punch

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