FACT-CHECK: Did Osun get N48bn refunds from FG for roads constructed by Aregbesola?

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

FACT-CHECK: Did Osun get N48bn refunds from FG for roads constructed by Aregbesola?

On Thursday, September 16, 2021, Former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Osun State, Hon. Sikiru Ayedun during the weekly meeting of The Osun Progressives told members of the factional group within the All Progressives Congress, said the Osun State under Governor Gboyega Oyetola has received a sum of N48bn refunds from the Federal Government for roads and bridges constructed by former Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

According to the Ife-born politician in a video which has now gone viral on social media, the payment was made in three tranches by the FG.

Ayedun said, “On roads that Ogbeni did that are federal roads, we have got N48bn in three tranches. The total amount received by the present administration is N48bn. Oyetola’s administration has received this amount. You can’t hear this on Osun radio. The last of the three tranches was N4.8bn when Rivers State got N78bn.”

The Findings
Our Correspondent found out that Osun State under Former Governor Rauf Aregbesola embarked on two federal road projects, namely; Gbongan-Akoda and Osogbo – Ila-odo roads. The contract sum for the two as awarded by the State is N46.5bn (N29bn and N17.5bn respectively). However, the federal government through the Bureau of Public Procurement, having inspected the roads, concluded that the sum was too high and reviewed the projects sum to N38bn (N23bn and N15bn).

Before the completion of Aregbesola’s term, the State Government had paid close to N19bn to contractors. Even though, Gbongan-Akoda road was at 30 per cent completion according in February 2020 as said by the Minister of State for Works, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu who inspected the project, while Osogbo – Ila-odo road was left at less than 25 per cent.

According to Aliyu, during his visit to Osun State in February last year, “We are here to verify trunk A roads. it is actually FG roads which some stated took over to construct, some were while others are still under construction. The ones in Osun are still ongoing. Other states are Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa and Cross River. We have the records but we decided to come and see the extent and quality of work done.

“We examined the Gbongan-Osogbo, which we take to this place (Governor’s office) and is about 30℅ completion. It is well constructed. We stop at the interchange and the work was done well”, he said.

Aliyu however, did not talk about the Osogbo to Ila-odo road.

The Refunds
Prior to the last one that was announced, our correspondence gathered that the State Government under Gboyega Oyetola had received a sum of N9bn from the federal government. The sum was received in two tranches between 2019 and 2020. The lastest one was N4.2bn and it was received in June this year as the same time Rivers State got N78bn, making it three tranches. This, to an extent, tallied with Ayedun’s position on three tranches.

A report by a number of news media quoted the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola as saying, “So, the committee went back with new terms of reference to ensure that the claims of the five states were in order that is why the BPP is on the committee. So, at the end of the exercise, the committee now reported that the five states – Cross River with 20 roads and one bridge will get a refund of N18,394,737,608.85, Ondo with six roads to get a refund of N7,822,147,577.08, and Osun with two roads and one bridge to get a refund of N2,468,938,876.78.”

However, sources at the office of the Accountant General of Osun State said the sum received was higher than N2.46bn quoted. The amount was pegged at N4.2bn.

Osun did not get N48bn as quoted by Hon. Sikiru Ayedun. The total sum got from the federal government as the refunds for roads constructed was in the region of N13bn.

The amount quoted by Ayedun is even higher than the contract sum awarded by Osun State Government, which was N46.5bn and also higher that the amount expected from the FG after the review by BPP, which is N38BN.

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