By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
The Chairman House Committee on Public Works and Transport in the Oyo State House of Assembly Honourable Olagoke Olamide Akinajo and the state commissioner of the ministry professor Raphael Afonja on Thursday led other members of the committee and ministry on an inspection to the Ibadan Circular road project to see the level of work done at the site of the project.
Addressing newsmen at the legislative oversight inspection Hon. Akinajo expressed dissatisfaction on the level of work done at the site of the road project considering the duration and the time left to deliver the project.
According to him, the contractor handling the project has not been impressive in handling and delivering the work withing the time frame, adding that he has spent two years clearing the site.
“The submission made by the construction Engineer that only 26km of the 32km road project has been cleared at the project stage was not tenable, the committee is not happy with the level of done and the way the contract has been handled since 2017.”
The Lawmaker who represents Ibadan North East Constituency in the state Assembly said the 35 years stipulated period in the agreement for the contractor to administer the road on tax payers money to recoup its investment and gains before handing over to Oyo state government is totally unacceptable because it will among other things amount to slave trade noting that the state can not be allowed to be held to random for that long by anybody, or organization, he however expressed optimism in governor Mankind’s political will to ensure people of Oyo state are not enslaved by such contact.
The contractor (ENL Consortium) General Manager of roads construction southwest region, Engr. Julius Adams explained that the project was supposed to be opened in phases adding that the first phase was nothing to write home about due to inconsistencies of government policies by the last administration which led backing out of the financial sponsors initially engaged to bankroll the project.
“There is a new financial sponsor who has already been involved in a top level discussion with the commissioner with the aim of getting some level of assurances and his readiness to bankroll the project. Nobody wants to invest in an environment where government policies could suddenly change.
Speaking on the possibility of delivering the project by June, year 2020 as agreed in the contract, Engr. Julius said the year was already ending and company will only stay focused on the job at hand and see what happens next after the expiration of the contract period since the projects involves construction of six different bridges which must adequately be connected to the road.
In his remark, the commissioner for public works and Transport, Professor Afonja said nothing has changed since the last time of meeting with the contractor even before governor Makinde’s visit.
According to him, the contractor had assured earlier that machinery and equipment to be used were already on their way to Nigeria for delivery, just as be expressed his disappointment on the way the project had been handled.
Prof Afonja stated further that the contractor have until June 2020 to deliver and hoped it would be more committed to deliver within the stipulated time frame and assured that the ministry will continue to supervise the project with an eagle eye to ensure that they conform with what was contained in the project design.