The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, yesterday slammed the Controller of Works in Ekiti State for siting the ongoing National Housing project in a location that was far from the Ado Ekiti capital city.
The former Lagos State Governor, who visited the site alongside Governor Ayodele Fayose and the Works Commissioner, Mrs Funmi Ogun, said the location, along Ado–Iworoko road, lacks security and was not befitting for a housing estate.
Speaking while inspecting the housing estate being constructed by Minosa Nigeria Limited and Ado-Ikere-Akure federal road being constructed by the state government, Fashola said the controller failed to deploy professionalism in siting the estate.
The visibly enraged Minister, said the Ministry might consider relocating the estate to another befitting location that would give room for proximity to Ado Ekiti and ensure security of prospective occupants when completed.
“How will you feel if I relocate your office from Ado Ekiti to this place, will you still function? If you really know that that this is not good, why are you building these here for Nigerians ? Are you not aware that you are working for Nigerians?”, he asked.
The Minister added: “We will have to discuss possible relocation of this place when I get to Abuja. You said you were given this site, even if this is where the government had allocated for it, I expect you to give professional advice that this place is not likely to be suitable”, he said.
Fashola on the dualisation of Ado-Akure highway in Ikere Ekiti by the state government, declared the project as impressive and heartwarming.
Responding, the controller said his frantic efforts to seek audience with Governor Fayose for possible relocation were futile.
But Fayose insisted that the controller was grossly incompetent to superintend over such a highly technical department of the federal Ministry.
“You said you came to my office and you didn’t see me, why couldn’t you make effort to send a message? I was not even aware that such project was ongoing in that far area.
“My impression about some of the federal civil servants was that, they are overzealous. Some of them will come to Ekiti and they will not even tell the state government about their presence.
“I expect that I should have been told if such project is happening in my domain. This is about Nigerians and not an issue that should be politicized”, Fayose said.
The governor described the Minister’s visit as very timely, saying it came at a time when massive construction were being undertaken along Ado-Aramoko -Ita Ure and Ado-Ikere-Akure roads.
He said the government had submitted outstanding bills to the
federal government on multi-billion naira that had been expended by the state government to rehabilitate federal roads.
“We have submitted our papers and I think the federal government will pay us when it is convenient. The Minister had done on-the-spot assessments. He knows the situation and what we expect is the rehabilitation of these dilapidated roads and Ekiti is ready to
partner in this regard”, he said.