BY ABDULRASHEED HAMMAD

At GGDSS Arkilla, an all-girls school, the absence of an administrative block has forced the principal into using a store as an office. The reporter also found that teachers were using a dilapidated classroom as staff room. Deteriorated classrooms dotted the school, with roofs in a state of disrepair. The situation had caused significant inconvenience to both students and teachers, especially when it rained. Consequently, the learning environment had suffered.

In the heat periods, lack of electricity and electric fans often led to excessive sweating by the principal, teachers, and students. The school environment had also become a dumping ground for the community. Compounded by an absence of a fence, the school had become vulnerable to intrusion by hoodlums who forcibly opened classroom windows to engage in illicit activities, including drug use.

Abdulsalam Abdulkareem (not real name), a teacher at the school, outlined the array of challenges and significant difficulties faced by the school. He said that there was no dedicated staff room, forcing teachers to use classrooms as staff rooms.

When it rained, both teachers and students would be unable to stay in certain classrooms due to leaky roofs. The school lacked essential amenities such as science laboratory, library, electricity, water supply, and up-to-date textbooks. The textbooks used were outdated, while absence of a fence had led to encroachment and unauthorised access by touts.

Mr Abdulkareem explained, “During the hot season, you would pity us. We sweat profusely and can’t stay here. If you visited yesterday, you’d have seen how the principal was sweating profusely. In the evening, intruders would enter, causing damage to our classrooms and chairs due to the lack of security. They forcibly open our windows, no matter how securely we close them. Modern textbooks aren’t available for teachers. We have to buy books from bookshops to supplement. The ones supplied don’t align with the new curriculum because they’re outdated.”

Despite the award of a contract worth over N100 million (N100,198,196) to a firm named Sunakhab by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for an expansion in the school, both teachers and students continued to grapple with challenges.

 

The contract award notice document for the expansion of GGDSS Arkilla

Eunice Nuka, a student of the school, noted that the unhabitable environment and dilapidated state of the school were significantly impeding learning experience.

On June 26, 2022, Sokoto State awarded over N100 million worth of contracts (N100,198,196.00) to Sunakhab for the expansion of the school’s low-cost housing. But the project had not been done when the reporter visited in August 2023.

A check on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) portal showed that Sunakhab was established on December 10, 2018, five days after Shenuus Solid Minerals Limited was created.

Further checks on NG-Check.com and Nigeria24 indicated that the company’s directors are Kabiru Haliru, Kabiru Abdulrahman Haliru, and Usman Ibrahim who is the secretary and deponent of the company.

A man named Kabiru Haliru was the secretary of Sokoto Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) when this contract was awarded in 2022. It was, however, not clear whether he was the same person being referred to by the CAC as director. Nevertheless, this name appears on most of the fraudulent contracts mentioned in this story.

The children playing within the school environment of GGDSS Arkilla after the closing of the school due to lack of fence

The companies that bid the contract with Sunakhab and failed were Nushema Precious Minerals and Shenuus Solid Minerals Limited. Nushema failed at the preliminary stage, while Shenuus Solid Minerals Limited failed at the detailed stage. The same name, Kabiru Haliru, is named as a director in Sunakhab and Nushema Solid Minerals Limited.

 

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