The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Banking & Currency, Jones Onyereri, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects for tertiary institutions in the country.
According to Onyereri, who gave the apex bank a pat on the back while leading the committee members to inspect one of the projects, the Centre of Excellence faculty building under construction at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Thursday, “the projects are laudable and not just being laudable but they have been done in an excellent form.”
His words: “We had a lot of challenges with CBN with respect to this intervention project but as God would have it, immediately we started undergoing this oversight visit and seeing in reality what is on ground, most of us, if not everybody, changed our minds because it is obvious that the projects are laudable and not just being laudable but they have been done in an excellent form. Yes, in all things, like in life, you could still have challenges here and there and part of it is what we have experienced here and it’s our duty to help them with the challenge.”
For his part, the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said, “it is in the interest of this country and our nation that this project should be completed.”
Apart from the UNILAG project, which comprises a 150-room hostel; auditorium; restaurant; lounge as well as lecture halls, CBN also has same projects in University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as well as other universities across the country.
However, the committee expressed their misgiving on the 2022 completion date of the UNILAG faculty building as well as the contractors handling the project.
Its Chairman said it was necessary to note the challenges facing the projects with a view to tackling them and ensuring that the project is completed on time.
Onyereri said the inspection was part of the legislative work they have to do before looking into this year’s budget.
“It is imperative that we undergo an oversight to look at projects that fall within the legislative or our agency’s budget. You can’t start looking into the annual budget without finding out what the agency has been able to do with the money appropriated for it.
“That is why we are in Lagos to look at one of the intervention projects of CBN. We have actually gone to the site and looked at what they have done. Yes, we will say there are issues that we need to tackle.”
Explaining what the project is all about, the Project Director of Beton Bau Nigeria Limited, the contractor handling it, Mrs. Sope Fayemi, said the “Centre of Excellence University of Lagos project comprises two buildings, the first building has an auditorium, offices, lecture rooms and other facilities. The second building is the hostel building which has about 150 rooms, a restaurant, shops and the likes.”