Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has revealed that a contractor with an untraceable office address was awarded the Moniya-Iseyin road contract for N7billion by the immediate past administration.
The Governor said this 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 Area and paying an on-the-spot assessment visit to the plant.
Describing the incident as one of his headaches since taking over the administration of the State, Makinde said N2billion out of the total contract sum was paid to the contractor whom he described as ‘faceless’, adding that his assessment of the job done so far on the site would barely be more than N150million.
Explaining the level of his disappointment, the Governor lamented that the road which serves as the economic route for farm and agricultural produce into the State was abandoned after the contractor collected N2billion, with little or nothing to show for it on the project site.
Governor 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 it 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.”
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, revealed that the given office address is not only untraceable, but the name also faceless.
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 due to political differences.
He said, “It is a shame that we have an asset like this and it was just allowed to rot because of political considerations. 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.”
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 came to do is to check the integrity of the plant. Sometimes, it may be better to start something from scratch if we cannot bring it back to life. But the concept was well thought of and the State government has been buying asphalt from a third party, so we might as well put this back to life,” the Governor said.
The Asphalt plant was established during the tenure of Senator Rashidi Ladoja as the State Governor but could not attract any partner under the proposed Public-Private Partnership agreement.
Addressing reporters after the tour, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said apart from checking the books, the Governor has been making frantic efforts to interact physically with the contractors handling the road project,without any positive result.
Adisa aassured that the government would only rely on those who know how to trace the money to do the needful, adding that the government will do everything possible to ensure that roads with economic worth are fixed in the interest of the people of the State.