Diyala governor: a mechanic won a contract to build 12 China-funded schools
Shafaq News/ A mechanic has been awarded a contract for building twelve schools in Diyala, Governor Muthanna al-Tamimi said on Thursday.
Speaking to Shafaq News Agency, al-Tamimi said, "the Chinese companies and staff in charge of building 56 schools in Diyala are practically non-existent," he said, "the behavior of certain powerful parties have raised huge question marks over the validity of the contracts."
"A mechanic winning a contract to build twelve schools is truly alarming. It also indicates that the Chinese companies have nothing to do with the contracts and the deal," he continued.
"I am afraid of having another project no. 1 in Diyala," said the governor, referring to a 2012-project that transformed 120 schools in the governorate into rubbles and collapsed before building any replacement.
In December 2021, Iraq signed agreements with two Chinese companies to build 1,000 schools in the country in the space of two years.
The deals were signed by former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's government, with Power China to build 679 schools and Sinotech the remaining 321.
Despite being rich in oil, Iraq has suffered for decades from crumbling infrastructure because of successive wars and endemic corruption.
Construction of the schools is due to be completed in two years, with the first delivered a year after work begins "very soon", the former housing minister said back then.
A second phase will see the construction of an additional 3,000 schools, with 4,000 more to be built in a final phase.
However, Iraqi contractors revealed earlier this month that the multi-billion dollar project in Iraq might collapse with the Chinese companies' consortium in charge failing to commit to financial and deadline agreements.
"As we speak, the project's completion rate is less than 7% in less than six months," one contractor told Shafaq News Agency, "we are past half the total duration of the project as stipulated by the agreement."
"The Chinese companies have violated the terms of their agreement with the Iraqi government... This might put the entire project at risk," a contractor said.