Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sunday raised the alarm over the plans by the administration of Governor Oluseyi Makinde to spend N8 billion on a proposed reconstruction of the Lagos-Iwo Road Interchange axis in Ibadan, the state capital, describing it as “a misplaced priority as well as an attempt to squander government resources”.
Makinde had on Friday, announced the state government’s plan to immediately embark on the project which would be completed in about a year as a measure to decongest the area and also give the physical outlook of Ibadan a facelift.
The governor stated this at Adogba Central Mosque where he had joined the congregation for the weekly Jumat service to clear the air on what his government would do in compensation for the facilities expected to be consumed by the reconstruction project.
But the APC, in a statement issued in Ibadan by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, said the present administration was now popular for building castle in the air in demonstration of its gross incompetence and avowed desire for mismanaging public funds.
According to him, “The good people of the Pacesetter State were taken aback by the action of Gov. Makinde last Friday when he chose a mosque as the place to announce the plan to do a multi-billion project. Without any record of presentation at the State Executive Council meeting or consideration and approval by the appropriate organs of government as required by law, the governor reeled out a contract sum for another white elephant project.
“The question on the lips of many people now borders on how the cost of N8 billion was arrived at even when no picture of the proposed picture has been shown to the world. What is the scope of the reconstruction project and where are the engineering designs culminated in the contract sum? Was there any due diligence before the cost was arrived at and when did the consultants carry out their survey of the proposed site? Where is the Bill of Quantity (BoQ) and when did the relevant office advertise for tender to be made?
“Another pertinent question is that; why the desperation, on the part of Gov. Makinde, to commit a bogus amount of money to any construction work in an area that would be covered by two different projects already awarded by the federal government? There are strong indications that the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway rehabilitation project would take of the expansion of the Lagos-Iwo Road Interchange while again the recently awarded rehabilitation of Ibadan-Ife Expressway project would cover the remaining portion of the axis.
“As it has become the usual practice of Makinde administration to put the cart before the horse, the people of the state cannot just watch while a government without any blueprint or action plan would continue to experiment after five months in office. So far, the only achievement of the current administration is the rebranded exercise books distributed recently with pomp and ceremony.
“It would have been better to follow up on the exercise books distribution with provision of pieces of furniture and release of running grants for the use in public primary and secondary schools across the state. Rather the state government embarked on loan bazaar as it awarded some supply contracts without anything to show for the billions of naira being spent on daily basis.
“As if this was not enough, Gov. Makinde again took to the mass media recently to announce his plan to construct a new Gbagi Market on the popular Exhibition Ground in Sango, Ibadan at a time experts blamed the vehicular traffic challenges bedevilling the state capital on the existing market places in the heart of the city. If not sheer display of incompetence and the unbridled quest to mismanage public funds, there is no reason for this kind of desperation for contract awards by the present administration.”