The Osun Federal Government Road Construction Refunds; The True State Of Affairs
My attention has been drawn to a viral video being circulated on the social media by the former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr. Sikiru Ayedun, who by his unsubstantiated claims, could mislead the public through misrepresentation of facts on the state of refund by the Federal Government to the Osun State Government on all the federal roads constructed by the previous administration and the Osun debt portfolio management by the present administration.
In setting the records straight, it is important to emphatically and explicitly state that such claims, as presented in the video under reference, is capable of creating disharmony, strife and bad blood within the progressive family.
The claim that the sum of N48billion has been received by the Oyetola led administration as refund on federal roads constructed within the state is untrue.
The total contract sum of all federal road projects embarked upon by the Osun State Government, as approved by the Federal Ministry of Works, is N38billion. It is therefore against logic that the sum of N48bn will be paid by the FG for projects whose total contract sum equals N38bn. The projects in question, as at November, 2018, on the average, was less than 35% completion.
Available records show that the Osun State Government awarded the 29km Gbongan – Akoda dualization project in 2013 for N29bn while the 40km Osogbo – Ikirun – Ila Odo Kwara boundary was awarded for N17.5bn in the same year, making both projects to amount to N46.5bn as proposed by Osun State Government. However, after due diligence and thorough assessment by the FG Public Procurement Agency, the contract sum was reviewed downward thus: Gbongan – Akoda road at N23bn, and Osogbo – Ila Odo road at N15bn respectively to carry the approved award contract sum of N38bn for all the ongoing FG roads under construction. This review was duly communicated to the Osun State Government.
As at November 2018, the contractor handling Gbongan – Akoda road project had received a total sum of N10.2bn, out of which 3.5km of the 29km stretched road have been completed including the Gbongan Interchange and the project was at 29% completion while the contractor handling the Osogbo – Ila Odo road collected a total sum of N9.2bn, with 49% completion rate; the implication is that the Osun State Government had paid both contractors the sum of N19.4bn as at November 2018. Similarly, the total refund by the FG to the state as today, in three tranches, stood at N11.9bn based on the project delivered by both contractors. It is imperative to state that the FG refund of N11.9bn has been judiciously utilized and ploughed back into four (4) inherited road projects embarked upon by the previous administration contrary to the unsubstantiated claims by Mr. Ayedun that the refund is being used to pay full salaries to civil servants in the state.
As at today, Gbongan – Akoda road project is at 36% completion stage, with 8.6km asphalted on both sides of the road. Also, the Osogbo – Ila odo project which was at 49% in November 2018 is now at 55% completion, Oba Adesoji Aderemi road which was equally inherited at 65% completion is at 74% now and Ilesa – Iperindo – Ipetu Ijesa road project rose from 40% to 66% completion stage. It is also instructive to note that since the advent of Oyetola administration, additional 60km of road had been reconstructed and fully completed, with another 10 township roads presently under construction; these are expected to be completed before the end of 2021 including the Iconic Olaiya flyover.
While we refrain from joining issues with anyone, the State Government of Osun under the leadership of Gov. Gboyega Oyetola has expended over N150bn on prompt payment of full salaries and pensions. It is a fact that Osun State remains one of the few states paying minimum wage of N30,000 in spite of our precarious and highly geared financial situation. This is in fulfillment of the pact he made with Osun citizens when he assumed office in 2018. Whereas, it is true that both the state’s N30bn and N11.4bn Sukuk bonds have been fully repaid, the current government has paid over N67bn as loan repayment during its 33months of administration in the State without borrowing a kobo till date.
The ingenuity and doggedness of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, has ensured a significant reduction in the total debt portfolio of Osun State.
However, inspite of this unprecedented boldness in public financial management, Osun remains the third (3rd) most indebted state among the 36 states of Nigeria. This can be verified from the website of the Debt Management Office.
Without sounding like a broken record, let me reaffirm that Governor Gboyega Oyetola will continue to deploy his over 3 decades of managerial experience as a risk manager, a welfarist and financial guru to move the economy of the state towards prosperity of the larger percentage of Osun citizens.
Finally, I urge all well meaning Osun citizens both politician and otherwise, to endeavour to verify all information before publication and dissemination. This will ensure a peaceful and healthy political atmosphere for all and sundry.
The State Government of Osun under Governor Gboyega Oyetola hereby reiterates her commitment to provide a secured, financially viable and paeceful environment so Osun may continue to thrive.
I want to implore us as all political leaders and Omoluabis (virtuous people) to support Mr Governor in his quest for a greater Osun.
Hon. Bola Oyebamiji
Honourable Commissioner for Finance, Osun State