The Ekiti State Government has threatened to sanction erring contractors handling various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)projects in the state.
The Secretary of the SDGs in the state, Mr Olukayode Adunmo, gave the warning after a two-day inspection tour of projects so far executed and completed under the 2018 intervention programme in four selected local government areas of the state.
Adunmo said on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti that any contractor who abandoned project sites after collecting mobilisation fees or other fees in the handling of SDG works in the state would be made to refund all monies collected.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the about 60 projects, domiciled mostly in schools and hospitals, included supply of equipment, outright construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of dilapidated classrooms and ward structures, toilets, boreholes, staff quarters, landscaping and interlocking, among others.
The projects are cited in four of the 16 local government areas of the atate, including Ekiti South West, Ijero, Moba and Oye.
Adunmo, in company with the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Mrs Abimbola Solanke, led a team from the Presidency on the inspection visit.
The scribe said the SDGs office in the state once had a case of job abandonment by a contractor who was later picked by the EFCC, and made to refund the money he collected.
This, he said, was in line with the known fact that the present administration in the state under Gov. Kayode Fayemi do not take kindly to culture of projects’ abandonment or sharp practices in any form by individuals or group.
He noted that the strong political will of the governor had been of tremendous assistance to his office.
“We always try our possible best in line of duty to ensure no contractor is left unmonitored and where you defaulted, we will make sure your further payment is delayed while you are warned to return to site and do the needful or risk further actions that may not be palatable.
“When we suspect foul play on our jobs, we give you a long rope of not longer than six months moratorium to amend your ways, after which the contract is terminated, and you are made to refund our money.
“There is no hiding place for defaulters, no matter where they may be hiding.
“That is why no contractor is fully paid up until a satisfactory work is delivered. I must however confess that 99 per cent of our present crop of contractors satisfactorily delivered on the jobs awarded them.
“The truth about our part of the world is that no contractor wants to perform to target time of delivery and specification, unless you put up strong monitoring mechanism, and it is on the basis of this that i want to commend the political will of the governor and our able team of top officials for making this possible through their close monitoring and uncompromised supervision,” he said.
According to Adunmo, all the completed projects are to be officially handed over to the benefiting local governments and communities within the next couple of weeks.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Mrs Abimbola Solanke, assured other local governments that the projects would soon be extended to them.
Solanke said eight of the coucils had earlier benefitted when the programme was still running under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), thereby leaving only four council areas.
Newsmen report that the team from the Presidency, comprising Mr Liadi Lukman, a representative of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, and Mr Joseph Abiolu, a Federal Government appointed Consultant, gave Ekiti a pass mark of over 93 per cent.
They expressed satisfaction at the quality of projects inspected and commended the Ekiti SDGs office for completing the projects based on specifications.
The team later presented the assessment report to Mr Biodun Omoleye, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Kayode Fayemi, commending the State Government on what they called excellent SDGs project delivery in the state.