Lack of funding, brain drain stalls NUST construction projects


Bulawayo (New Ziana) -Lack of funding and brain drain has stalled construction projects at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo, an official has said.

Pro vice chancellor William Goriwondo confirmed to New that the institution was failing to complete a number of construction projects due to financial constraints and flight of skilled personnel in search of better remuneration and conditions.

NUST embarked on massive construction projects which include a Technovation centre and an Information Technology (IT) resource centre which are sitting at 30 percent completion.

Construction of residential blocks for Chemical Engineering and Applied Science students has also stalled due to lack of funding.

The Technovation Centre, whose construction began in 1998 and stalled in 2008 due to financial constraints, was designed as a campus service centre but was repurposed due to the thrust of the Education 5.0 policy into an innovation centre.

“The challenge we are facing now is staff and skills shortage mainly as a result of brain drain. We have a situation where we have to receive assistance from our sister government institutions and departments. The army was here to assist us with specialised skills. Bulawayo Polytechnic also supported us on the technical aspect,” said Goriwondo, adding there was need to pay allowances to skilled workers in order attract and retain them.

He urged vocational training centres and polytechnic colleges to continuously upgrade the training of artisans to ensure they meet the needs of the market.

Goriwondo also appealed for supplementary Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) funding to enable the institution to complete outstanding works as well as to start new ones.

He said instability in prices of materials and failure by suppliers to deliver complete consignments also affected progress.

“Instability in prices of material is affecting us greatly. The cost model being used by suppliers and contractors is that they do forward pricing knowing that the payment will come late. This has impacted on progress on the projects,” he explained.

New Ziana

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