Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has made another revelation known of how a faceless contractor with untraceable office address was awarded the Moniya-Iseyin road for N7billion by the immediate past administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The Governor spoke after taking a tour of the road leading to the Pacesetter Quarry and Asphalt plant, located at Km 25, Moniya-Iseyin Road, Ojedeji Village, Akinyele local government for an assessment of the plant. Makinde, who described as a serious headache for him since took over the administration of the state disclosed that N2 billion out of the total contract sum was paid to the contractor who he described as ‘faceless’, adding that his assessment of the job done so far on the site would barely pass for N150million.
Expressing his disappointment, Makinde said the road which serves as the economic route for farm and agricultural produce into the state could be abandoned after the contractor collected N2 billion, with little or nothing to show for it on the project site.
He said his effort at locating the site address of the contractor to interact with them on the level of work done despite the amount of money released, reveals that the given office address was not only traceable but the name also faceless.
Makinde said: “And you saw the road that we took to this place, the road is just not in a good state even if it for us to get this functional, we can patch this road to support the Ibadan-Moniya-Iseyin road because it is a major road linking Ibadan with our production centres of Oke-Ogun as the food basket of the state and the country.”
“My impression of the work done so far if I will have to evaluate and cost it, it couldn’t have been more than N150million that I will spend on it.”
“It was a faceless contractor and we don’t even know where their offices are located. I could have stopped by to go discuss with them but there is nowhere to stop by.” While speaking on the quarry and asphalt plant which has been abandoned in the past eight years, Makinde expressed disappointment that the project that could have fetched the state some revenue was left unattended to, due to political difference. The Asphalt plant was established during the tenure of Senator Rashidi Ladoja but could not attract any partner under the proposed Public-Private Partnership agreement. The inspection, according to Governor Makinde, was targeted at reviving the facility in order to reduce the money spent on road projects by the state government. “What we will do is that we will look at what has gone on it through the files but it is a shame that we have an asset like this and it was just allowed to root because of political considerations. And we will have to send people here to check the integrity of what we have here and quickly see what we can do because we are buying a whole lot of asphalt from other places for road maintenance agencies.
What we came to do is to check the integrity of the plant. Sometimes, it may be better to start something from the start if we cannot bring this back to life, but the concept was well thought of and the state government has been buying asphalt from the third party, so we might as well put this back to life,” the governor maintained.
Addressing reporters after the tour, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa said, the governor, aside from checking the books has been making frantic efforts to interact physically with the contractors handling the road project but has not yielded any result. He, however, pledged the state government’s commitment to rely on those who know how to trace the money to do the needful, assuring that the government would do everything possible to ensure that roads with economic worth are fixed in the interest of the people of the state.