State releases Sh2.5b for CBC classrooms builders

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 03:30 | By
Education CS Ezekiel Machigu at Bondo Township School. PHOTO/(@machoguezekiel)/Ezekiel Machogu/Twitter.
Education CS Ezekiel Machigu at Bondo Township School. PHOTO/(@machoguezekiel)/Ezekiel Machogu/Twitter.

It is finally a relief for contractors in the second phase of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms construction after the Education ministry directed that they get paid their dues amounting to Sh2.5 billion.

Director of Secondary Education Paul Kibet said that a decision has now been made to disburse money owed to each contractor to the schools where the classrooms were constructed.

“As you are aware, the contractors’ payment has been pending. To this end, the school will be expected to receive all documents to enable them process the payments,” said Kibet.

Kibet issued the directives in a circular he signed on behalf of Education Principal Secretary, Belio Kipsang dated July 5 and addressed to Sub County Directors of Education (SCDE) through County Directors of Education (CDE).

Contractors in the second phase, which started in June last year, constructed 3,222 classrooms in over 1,900 schools, each at a standard cost of Sh778,220, which translated to a bill of over Sh2.5 billion.

Those who constructed two classrooms will receive Sh1.57 million while the rest will receive Sh788,220, price for one.

Payment certificate

At the same time, he said a certificate of occupancy will be required, since the classrooms have now been completed.

According to Kibet, the new process of payments will see the contractor submit to the project manager or a representative, application or invoice for payment.

The project manager will then check the application and certify the amount to be paid to the contractor.

“The value of work executed will be determined by the project manager or his representative. The value of work will comprise the value of quantities of work in the (BQ) has been completed,” Kibet advised.

He said payment will be adjusted for retention deductions of 5 per cent of the total amount because of the contractor, unless where a certificate of making good defects has been issued.

Payments will also be adjusted for withholding Value Added Tax (VAT) deductions of 2 per cent and withholding tax of 3 per cent. Records to be submitted to the school for payment processing include covering letter from SCDE.

There must also be payment certificate comprising Finance Officer (FO 20) payment voucher, Ministry of Works (MOW) 123 form, MOW 121 form and backup composed or the value of quantities of work in the BQs.

Other documents required include contractor application or invoicing for payment, minutes of Sub-Count Technical Committee site meetings approved payments, award letters and contract agreements for all categories of contractors and professional opinion from the procurement officer.

Also required is the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) PIN certificate for all categories of contractors, partnership agreement, contact details for each member and the authorised representative for the category of partnerships, valid tax compliance and registration or incorporation certificates for the category of companies as well as certificate of occupation. “Physical documents are submitted by SCDE to the school. Electronic copies will not be used to process payment,” Kibet advised.

After receiving the documents from SCDE, the principal will submit the bundle of documents to the verification team.

“This team, which must include a member of school infrastructure committee, is appointed by the principal in writing,” he said.

Heightened anxiety

There has been heightened anxiety among contractors, who have been complaining of delayed payments, given the pressure they had to endure to complete the classrooms in good time.

The phase two contractors said that they have been choking over bank debts.

On the overall, almost 10,000 CBC classrooms were constructed in secondary schools where the Junior Secondary School (JSS) was initially domiciled.

The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) however, recommended that JSS be domiciled in primary schools, long after the classes were completed.

Uncertainty had shrouded the payment process, with questions emerging on whether the Government would honor the agreement made with the previous Government. The contractors’ expectations were that they would have been paid by May last year.

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