A few minutes ago, I got a pulse of the agonic feelings of the people of the Oloje/Balode community through one of the foremost online news platform, JUST EVENT online with a sad report that the road linking the two communities has been abandoned by the Kwara State government for sometimes now.
In my way, I feel strongly uncomfortable letting the unfortunate development slide without sharing the pains of the affected communities and without expressing concerns for the government that might have been wrongly accused without due verifications.
As it has become reoccurrence indices in Kwara, considering the rate of project abandonment, revocations, and terminations in the state in the past four and a half years, it is established that this project, like others, has been abandoned for over six months without any communication from the government to the affected communities. This, again, has added to the spate of street protests in Kwara over abandoned projects in recent times.
To set the records straight, the said project was awarded to a contractor known as Stefan Jeager Nig Ltd in January 2022 at the contract sum of One Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Two naira, Forty Kobo (N157,839,932.40) with a completion period of Three months. By implication, this project, as approved and signed was to have been completed and commissioned in April/May 2022.
Even though the contractor is reported to have cited the pulsity of funds as the central reason she abandoned the project, she hasn’t revealed if what she has been paid commensurates with the levels of work done on the site, so far. The contractor was paid an upfront 30% statutory mobilization fee which amounts to N47,351,979.72 through a financial instrument known as an Advance Payment Bond from a reputable insurance company.
It is a fact that the government has neglected the communities by abandoning the project without a deserved communication flow to justify the reasons the contractor abandoned the project site if there is any.
The Kwara State PDP Youth Advisory Council is on this note, assuring the affected communities that the body will engage professionals from Civil Society Organizations in the state and beyond to help in conducting detailed technical investigations into the project execution level on the project site and the financial settlements done so far on the project by the government. We also assure the communities that as a leading opposition party in the state, we will mount unbearable pressure on both the government and the contractor to ensure works resume on the site within weeks from now.
The affected communities should also know that the outcome of the investigation will enable us to report to the state leadership of our party and recommend the necessity to initiate litigation processes against any defaulter between the contractor and the client in the interest of the community.
Otukoko Olayinka Ibrahim
The State Chairman
PDP Youth Advisory Council