…As Oyo Seeks Refund of Money Expended on Federal Roads
By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Miffed by the shoddy work done on the Oyo/Ibadan road by the PWD construction limited, the Senate Committee on Works has summoned the contractor that handled the project to appear before it to explain the reason for the bad condition of the road after a whooping sum of N22 billion has been expended on the road project.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya, who led other members of the committee on a courtesy visit to Governor Abiola Ajimobi in his office, stated this after an inspection tour of road projects embarked on by the Federal Government in the South West as part of its oversight function.
Gaya who expressed dismay over the road project, said a whopping sum of N22 billion had so far been expended for the reconstruction of the road, adding that the present state of the road three years after its completion did not justify government investment on the project.
He state that: “For the Oyo/Ibadan, the project was completed nine years ago. But we are not happy about the present state of the road. And the contractor that handled the project was PW. When we visited the site, we felt terribly bad about the contractor having spent over N22 billion on the project and three years after the project has been completed, the road is bad again.”
“We are inviting the contractor to come to the Senate and defend this shoddy work he did and whoever was the concerned supervising engineer will be brought to book.
“There is no way we spend N22 billion on a project and three years after the project is gone. If there are reasons for this, he has to come and explain. This committee will not take thing easy with erring contractor.”
He disclosed that out of the 34,000 kilometers road network the Federal Government was working on across the country, Oyo State has the largest of over 1,000 kilometers, adding that a lot is being done for the state.
The committee chairman sighted other road projects that are receiving government attention to include Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo-Ogobomoso, Oyo-Ilorin, and Oyo-Iseyin – Saki road projects, among others.
While responding, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, disclosed that the current administration in the state was dedicated to the development of road construction and rehabilitation on which huge amount of money was expended and for which refund from the Federal Ministry of Works was yet to be made.
The governor, then advocated that the maintenance of all federal roads in the state of the federation should be handed over to their respective state governments, while funds meant for it be released to such states through the ministry in charge.
Ajimobi said considering pivotal importance of good roads to developing the economy, the road projects would attract both foreign and local investments which is expected to create jobs and better lots of the people.
He appealed to the committee chairman to use his office in ensuring that the road projects were completed particularly the Oyo-Ogobomoso road which he said has become death traps to travelers plying the road.
The governor highlighted Iseyin-Kishi road in Oke-Ogun area of the state which, he said, urgently needed the Federal Government urgent attention, describing it as one of the worst in the country.