Oyo Government Approves N11bn For Bush Clearing

Seyi Makinde
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde

Governor Seyi Makinde has ordered the contractor handling a 32km road awarded at 67 billion Naira and 11 billion Naira for clearing of bush on the stretch of the road to deliver the project as scheduled.

The new order is coming after the newly-elected governor placed a stop-work order on the project, after discovering that the contractor had only done 5.5% of the job since it began two years ago.

Also, the governor frowned at the ‘unrealistic’ cost of the project pointing to the N11b allocated for the bush clearing as ‘shocking.’

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However, speaking through his spokesman, Taiwo Adisa, Governor Makinde added that he changed his mind on the stop-work order because he does not want a needless legal battle that would slow down his administration.

“The Ibadan Circular Project is a 32-kilometre road contract awarded by the immediate past administration under a Build Operate and Transfer concessionaire arrangement at the cost of N67 billion.

“However, discoveries by the incumbent administration in Oyo State have confirmed that besides the extremely slow pace of work on the contract which meant that only 5.5 percent of work had been done in two and a half years, sections of the cost quoted may be apparently unjustifiable.

“For instance, documents at the disposal of Oyo State Government indicate that the ENL Consortium originally quoted N14 billion as the contract sum, whereas the former government went ahead to sign the contract at N67 billion.

“Again, the sum of 11 billion is being quoted for clearance of the bush on the 32-kilometre stretch of the road, while the same consortium is claiming to have spent the sum of N5 billion on some four or five culverts

“Governor Makinde considers the project to be very strategic to the economic expansion agenda of his Government, and therefore ordered that since the consortium now claims to now have the required funding, they could as well deliver the project by May 2020, in line with the contract they signed in 2017.

“The decision to allow the consortium run out its contract through was informed by the need not to plunge the State into needless legal battles and thereby cause encumbrances that can hinder the development of the State.

“The State government is ready to hold ENL Consortium to its words and the dictates of the contractual agreement on the road. It is expected that the Consortium would put in place all things necessary to ensure it delivers on the terms of the all-important contract.