….Faults Gov Amosun on Federal roads construction
….as Fashola confirms process of verification
By Yamah Abdulateef
Members of Labour Party (LP) in Ogun State have petitioned the Speaker House of Representatives Hon Joshua Dogara to investigate N222.997 billion refund claims on Federal roads constructed from 2007 to date by the state government. The petition is a follow up to the purported presentation by Ogun State Government to the House of Representatives committee on Works and finance for refund of N222.997 billion in respect of the fund expended on construction and rehabilitation works done on Federal roads within the state.
A copy of the petition signed by the State Chairman of Labour Party Comrade Arabambi Abayomi and State Secretary Comrade Oginni Olaposi was obtained by Nigerian NewsDirect.
The party stated in the petition that the claim of Gov Ibikunle Amosun that the roads listed as constructed and completed for refund is not only false but an outright lie. The affected federal roads allegedly completed by Ogun State government in the presentation of the breakdown made by the Permanent Secretary State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Engr K.A Ademolake include the construction of Sango/Ijoko/Ojodu-Abiodun/Akute road awarded to CSCC at the sum of N34.9 billion; Agbara-Atan, Lusada-Igbesa, Lusada-Alapoti road awarded to CCECC at N17 billion; Lafenwa/Aiyetoro road-N14 billion, Papalanto-Ilaro/Federal Poly road-N14.7billion and OGTV/Brewery/Ibadan road at N13.9 billion among others.
The party described the alleged demand for refund of N223.997 billion by Gov Amosun as a subtle attempt by his administration to fraudulently obtain through false pretext. This, the party claimed in the petition was an attempt to use his closeness to the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun and, immunity to defraud the people of Nigeria and put Ogun State in perpetual debt. This, as stated in the petition is also designed to stock money needed to install his cronies as successor in 2019 gubernatorial election.
The party said:” we state without any fear of contradiction that the OGTV to Ibadan and Papalanto to Federal Polytechnic roads were never constructed neither rehabilitated while the rest were awarded in 2012 but were all abandoned by Gov Ibikunle Amosun”.The party urged the Speaker to use his good offices to investigate these claims of refund and also to send various committees of the House of Representatives to come-for-on the spot assessment with members of Civil Right Groups, professional bodies and opposition political parties in Ogun State before such fraudulent and criminal request can be verified for payment.
In an enquiry for details of the claims for refund by Ogun State Government, the Special Adviser on Communications to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr Hakeem Bello stated that there was a process of verification for the claims by States for reimbursement of monies spent on Federal assets.
The adviser noted that there was a Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee in place to verify and ascertain claims by states. “So, the question of the Ministry honouring or not honouring the claims of Ogun State Government in the light of any petition does not arise,” he explained.
Also Labour Party officials in Ogun State disclosed in the petition that the present administration of Gov Amosun’s external loan stood at $109 million according to the Debt Management Office while the local debt stood at N197 billion already restructured for repayment over 65 years. This also includes the CBN approval of N338 billion to 27 states including Ogun to pay outstanding salaries at nine percent rate over a 20-year period. This is beside the DMO conversion of N334 billion debt of 11 states with Ogun State N55.4 billion inclusive to a long term bonds of 14.83 per cent payable over 20 years.
The party also alleged that the 10- lane road Abeokuta to Shagamu interchange awarded to CCECC at the cost of N65 billion had been reduced to just four lanes over just 1,3 kilometres with a whopping sum of N43 billion so far paid to the Chinese contractor.On Education and health challenges in Ogun State during the administration of Gov Amosun, the party lamented that public schools were nothing to write home about. “Hospitals have no bed, ambulances and drugs, the construction of 22 Mega schools awarded in 2012 are still under construction at the cost of N2 billion each, despite alleged payment of over N1.8 billion. “ Since the inception of this administration, no single public school had been rehabilitated or reconstructed and also no single hospital both state hospitals and local government controlled were rehabilitated or reconstructed,” the party alleged.