By Citizen Reporter
The Edo PDP Integrity Group accused Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of over-invoicing contract sums, especially in the award of the on-going road construction contracts in the Benin Metropolis and other parts of the state, revealing that while the Federal Ministry of Works and Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) award more sophisticated road construction contracts at between N78 million and N125 million per one kilometer, Edo State Government, under Governor Adams Oshiomhole, had awarded road contracts at between N600 million and N875 million per one kilometer of road.
While describing this as not only absurd, overwhelming al known operational road construction standards nationwide, the group noted that this gross attitude was a deliberate and calculated ploy by the state government and it collaborators to divert public funds into private pockets and short-change the people of the state.
Quoting the specific case of the Airport Road, from the Ring Road to Ogba Bridge, a distance of 8 kilometer, the Edo PDP Integrity Group revealed that the state government awarded the contract to Servetek Nigeria Limited at an initial sum of N4.8 billion, coming up to N600 million per kilometer of road, to include furniture such as drainage, streetlights, road dividers and side walkways. It revealed today, the road contract had attracted several fraudulent reviews and upgrading, so much so that the contract sum now stands at well over N8 billion, coming to an alarming N1billion per kilometer. And the road remains far from being completed, three years after it was awarded! This amount would have been enough for the state government to rehabilitate the over 132 Streets and adjoining roads in the GRA, Benin City.
In the case of the Ring Road-Siluko Road to Textile Mill Road Junction, a distance of 3.2 kilometers, the Edo PDP Integrity Group revealed that the state government awarded the contract to Hitech, at the sum of N2.8 billion, coming up to N875 million per kilometer , to include road furniture such as drainage, streetlights, road dividers and side walkways. Yet, the Group noted, the amount should have comprehensively taken care of the reconstruction of the entire stretch of Siluko Road to Useh, and the surrounding communities.
How much, the Group demanded, would it cost to plant flowers around the Kings Square and execute the slim asphalt laying on the road around the National Museum? Yet, it alleged, Oshiomhole spent over N900 million on the so-called beautification of the King’s Square to Siluko/Ekewan Road Junction, which Oshiomhole awarded to 4ND Construction Company, a crony of the former Governor and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for close to N2 billion is yet another test case of an over-inflated contract. The group’s statement noted that the road, which has even started failing, less than two years after its purported completion, becomes so waterlogged when a ten-minute rain falls. Equally mentioned were the cases of the renovation of public secondary schools, which the Group accused where done at alarming contract sums. Specially mentioned was the case of Idia College, Benin City, which the group said was renovated for close to N500 million, an amount that should have renovated at least thirty (30) public secondary schools across the state.
The Edo PDP Integrity Group equally expressed dismay at the state government’s claims that it was construction the Urhonigbe road, in Orhiomwon Local Government are for over N8 billion. The statement revealed that none of the contractors, who bided for the job, went above N4.8 billion, yet “Oshiomhole gave the job to Setraco, which did not even bid for it, for such an outrageous contract sum. The Oshiomhole-led ACN administration and the past administration of his political godfather, Lucky Igbinedion, from 1999-2007, are very much linked in their high levels of fraud. While it could be said that the Igbinedion administration abandoned everything and concentrated on looting the state, the present Oshiomhole administration is executing cosmetic, ephemeral and fraud-laden, unending projects, which it over-invoices with a view of siphoning public funds into private pockets.
While Chastising the Oshiomhole-led State Government for these “outrageous” contract awards, the group emphasized that the obvious and verifiable neglect of the people’s overall welfare needs, coupled with its unwillingness to conduct local government elections and pay government workers across the state, the federal government approved minimum wage of N18,000, has opened up the state government as one notorious in its “constitutional breaches and arrant disregard to the feelings and aspirations of the electorate and the general citizenry of EDO State.
The group called on Edo people in general to be on their guard against the deceptive and corruption-laden intentions of the Oshiomhole-led ACN government of the state, and not be deceived by the government’s so-called on-going construction works, warning that it was one devilishly ingenious method to perpetuate the rape of Edo resources, which the former government of Oshiomhole’s mentors, Lucky Igbinedion and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu presided over between 1999-2007.