Nigeria

Commissioner: Claims Osun receives N48 billion refund on roads ‘untrue’

The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, in a statement, described Ayedun’s claim as untrue, misleading and capable of creating disharmony, strife and bad blood within the progressive family.

The Osun State Government has described as untrue a claim by a former Commissioner for Home Affairs in Osun, Mr Sikiru Ayedun, that the state has received a sum of N48 billion from the Federal Government as a refund on federal roads constructed within the state.

The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, in a statement, described Ayedun’s claim as untrue, misleading and capable of creating disharmony, strife and bad blood within the progressive family.

He disclosed that the total contract was valued at N38 billion and wondered how the FG would make a refund that was far above the contract sum.

He explained that the Federal Government has only paid N11.9 billion on the project delivered by the contractors, noting that the amount was paid in three tranches.

According to him, the refund was expended on four road projects inherited from the previous administration as against the claim by Ayedun that the refund was being used to pay full salaries to civil servants in the state.

Oyebamiji urged well-meaning Osun citizens to endeavour to verify all information before publication and dissemination to ensure a peaceful and healthy political atmosphere for all and sundry.

‘The total contract sum of all the federal road projects embarked upon by the Osun State Government, as approved by the Federal Ministry of Works, is N38 billion. It, therefore, stands logic on its head to claim that the sum of N48 billion will be paid by the FG for projects whose total contract sum equals N38 billion. The last time we checked, the Federal Government is not a Father Christmas,’ he said.

‘The projects in question, as of November 2018, on the average, was less than 35% completion. Available records show that the Osun State Government awarded the 29km Gbongan – Akoda dualization project in 2013 for N29 billion while the 40km Osogbo – Ikirun – Ila Odo Kwara boundary was awarded for N17.5 billion in the same year, making both projects amount to N46.5 billion as proposed by Osun State Government.

‘However, after due diligence and thorough assessment by the FG Public Procurement Agency, the contract sum was reviewed downward thus: Gbongan – Akoda road at N23 billion, and Osogbo – Ila Odo road at N15 billion respectively to carry the approved award contract sum of N38 billion for all the ongoing FG roads under construction. This review was duly communicated to the Osun State Government.

‘As of November 2018, the contractor handling Gbongan – Akoda road project had received a total sum of N10.2 billion, out of which 3.5km of the 29km stretched road has been completed including the Gbongan Interchange and the project was at 29% completion, while the contractor handling the Osogbo – Ila Odo road collected a total sum of N9.2 billion, with 49% completion rate.

‘The implication is that the Osun State Government had paid both contractors the sum of N19.4 billion as of November 2018. Similarly, the total refund by the FG to the state as at today, in three tranches, stood at N11.9 billion based on the project delivered by both contractors.

‘It is imperative to state that the FG refund of N11.9 billion has been judiciously utilized and ploughed back into four (4) inherited road projects embarked upon by the previous administration contrary to the unsubstantiated claims by Mr Ayedun that the refund is being used to pay full salaries to civil servants in the state.

‘As of today, Gbongan – Akoda road project is at 36% completion stage, with 8.6km asphalted on both sides of the road. Also, the Osogbo – Ila-Odo project which was 49% in November 2018 is now at 55% completion. Oba Adesoji Aderemi road which was equally inherited at 65% completion is at 74% now and Ilesa – Iperindo – Ipetu Ijesa road project rose from 40% to 66% completion stage.

‘It is also instructive to note that since the advent of the Oyetola administration, an additional 60km of the road had been reconstructed and fully completed, with another 10 township roads presently under construction. These are expected to be completed before the end of 2021, including the Iconic Olaiya flyover.’

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