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K370 million shortfall hampers TTC project

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Completion of Nalikule Teachers Training College (TTC) in Lilongwe is likely to face hitches as Ministry of Education, Science and Technology laments low funding to carter for connection fee of water supply from the Central Region Water Board.

As stipulated in the project agreement, the Government of Malawi, through the Department of Infrastructure, will have to construct the sports complex, connect water supply and provide learning materials for the college.

But in an interview on Wednesday, spokesperson for the ministry, Manfred Ndovie, disclosed that the state-of-art college, which has the capacity of 680 students, requires funds amounting to K370 million to pay the utility body.

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“As of now, we have managed to bring electricity but we have a challenge of bringing water supply. We budgeted for K210 million in the last financial year which we failed to pay after the Central Region Water Board (CRWB) adjusted the quotation to K370 million,” said Ndovie

Ndovie said despite CRWB assenting to have the fee in three instalments, Treasury has not yet come forth with the funds and the ministry has been advised to wait for the office to source funds.

He said construction of the TTC currently underway along Nalikule Forest Reserve is anticipated to be completed by end of July and any further delays by Treasury to fund the water project might affect the opening of the college with the first cohort to be enrolled in September this year.

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“We will not be able to have our first cohort as planned because, as of now, the construction is being done using boreholes,” he said.

Ministry of Finance Spokesperson, Nations Msowoya, said the Ministry of Education might have overlooked the cost when presenting their budget in the 2015/2016 financial year.

“We work on a budget and if they were not funded, it means it was not included in their budget as a ministry, that’s why they are struggling to have the funds,” Msowoya said.

He said the K300 million water project request would be easily funded for it has been included in the forthcoming 2016/2017 financial year.

The TTC is being constructed under the Japanese government aid amounting to $13 million (about K9.2 billion).

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