Ibadan Circular Road: Oyo Assembly, Ministry of Public Works Joint Team Visit Site, Express Concerns
By Henry Odeh
The Oyo state house of assembly house committee on public works and Transport led by its chairman, Honorable Olagoke Olamide Akinajo and top officials from the Oyo state ministry of public works and Transport led by the honorable commissioner in what was described as a legislative oversight duty visited the Ibadan circular road project site to make an on the spot assessment of the volume of work done and to make necessary evaluations with the aim of reporting back to the house of assembly in due time.
The chairman of the committee while addressing newsmen shortly after the on the spot assessment stated that the committee is not pleased with the volume of work done so far considering the fact that the contract duration is less than one year left to deliver adding that it was imperative to note that the contractor handling the project has not been impressive to have spent the first two years for just site clearing, noting that the submission made by the construction engr. that only 26km of the 32km road project has been cleared at the project stage was not tenable.
Honorable Akinajo added that the 35 years stipulated period in the agreement for the contractor to administer the road on tax payers money to recoup its investment and gains before handing over to Oyo state government is totally unacceptable because it will among other things amount to slave trade noting that the state can not be allowed to be held to random for that long by anybody, or organization, he however expressed optimism in governor Mankind’s political will to ensure people of Oyo state are not enslaved by such contact.
The contractor (ENL Consortium) General Manager of roads construction southwest region, Engr. Julius Adams stated that the project was supposed to be opened in phases but declared that the first phase was nothing to write home about due to inconsistencies of government policies by the last administration culminating in backing out of the financial sponsors initially engaged to bankroll the project adding that there’s a new financial sponsor who has already been involved in a top level discussion with the honorable commissioner with the aim of getting some level of assurances and is ready to bankroll the project noting that nobody wants to invest in an environment where government policies can just change overnight.
When pressed further on the possibility of delivering the project by June, year 2020 as agreed in the contract, Engr. Julius stated the year was already lurking around the corner and company will only stay focused on the job at hand and see what happens next after the expiration of the contract period adding that the project also involves construction of six different bridges which must adequately be connected to the road.
The honorable commissioner for public works and Transport, Professor Raphael Afonja in his remark said nothing has changed since the last time of meeting with the contractor even before governor Makinde visited. He stated further that the contractor had assured earlier that machinery and equipment to be used were already on the high sea on its way to Nigeria for delivery, expressing his disappointment that nothing was on ground to show sincerity of purpose.
Prof Afonja stated further that the contractor have until June 2020 to deliver and hoped it would be more committed to deliver within the stipulated time frame and assured that the ministry will continue to supervise the project with an eagle eye to ensure that they conform with what was contained in the project design.