Don’t Release Federal Roads Fund to Aregbesola – Group Tells Buhari, NASS

rauf aregbesolaCivil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and the National Assembly, not to release any fund to the Osun State governor, Engr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola as a claim for federal road projects, urging the Federal Government to first visit the State to access the quality of job done and re-awarded all the Federal Road projects claimed to have been executed by the Aregbesola;s government.

This, the group said, was necessary in order to save the country’s meager resources.

The Coalition maintained that the call has become imperative because the State government did not follow due process of getting approval from the Federal Government through its procurement office before it embarked on the said road projects, arguing that one of the two roads was at just three percent (3%) completion and while the second road was 0.2 percent completion.

Acknowledging that the roads were critical for the survival of the trade and commerce of the State, the group equally warned the Federal Government against releasing even a kobo to the state government  under the guise of embarking on federal projects.

The civil societies group further argued that releasing any fund to Governor Aregbesola for Federal road projects in the state would mean that the funds will go the same way of over N52 billion gargantuan loan obtained on the said roads project by Aregbesola’s government and the project did not see the light of the day till today, even as the road to remained a death trap for people of the state.

Appearing on Wednesday before the Joint House of Representatives Committee on Works and Finance to “investigate the claims by State Governments on the Expenditures incurred in reconstructing Federal Roads to determine their propriety, integrity of the construction work and other related matters – R.246/2015”, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman who led the members of the group to the National Assembly, declared that Governor Aregbesola has milked the State dry under the cover of one project or the others, noting that over N500 billion loans were obtained between 2011 and 2013 by Aregbesola’s administration, adding that Osun State has been bankrupt under Aregbesola’s government.

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Comrade Sulaiman added that the good people of the State is now suffering under the yoke of the debt burden and as a result of this development, Osun State received N6.23milion out of N2.4billion from the Federal Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) for the month of February, 2016, stressing that the Federal roads being claimed by Mr. Aregbesola to have being rehabilitated was nothing but fraud.

According to him; “We wish to inform the Committee that the roads in question in Osun State comprise of Akoda, Ede-Sekona-Ode-Omu-Gbongan Junction which is just 28kilometre but awarded in 2013 to Rauf Aregbesola&Tinubu Construction Compaty(RATCOM) at the rate of Twenty-Nine billion naira N29billion) which means N1.1 billion per kilometer with 0.2 % completion. While the dualization of 38km Osogbo (Old Garage) – Ikirun road – Ila Odo –Erinle – Kwara boundary that was awarded in 2013 to the Governor Rauf Aregbesola in –law Construction Company (SAMMYA) at the initial rate N17.8billion is just three
percent (3%) completion till date and was later abandoned with no explanation till today.

“Osun State Government under Mr. Aregbesola embarked on the two federal road projects without approval from the Federal Government through its Ministry of Works who are supposed to monitor the pace of project since 2012, with the aim of using the road projects to collect huge amount of money from the Federal Government. Although, the State government had achieved its aims and objectives on the road projects by just taking the contractors to the sites of the projects with elaborate ceremonies in order to deceive the people outside the State that Mr. Aregbesola had embarked on the construction of the Federal road”.

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Rights activist further stated that ;”The Coalition gathered that the Federal Government through the current Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola whom Mr. Rauf Aregbesola served under the same cabinet of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Lagos State has given
soft landing to the State government by releasing over sixty billion naira (N60b) to Mr. Aregbesola, when the earlier funds acquired through loan from Infrastructure Bank, Abuja and other financial
institutions were diverted into private purse of Aregbesola through his contractors’ cronies with nothing to show for the road projects in question, than turning to death traps for commuters since 2013”.

“It is very unfortunate that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing under Mr. Babatunde Fashola’s watch still concluded arrangement to give retrospective approval to Mr. Rauf Aregbesola on
the said Federal Roads that did not get the approval of the appropriate organ of the Federal Government at the initial stage of the project till the present moment. We called on the Committee on Works and Finance to visit the roads project sites and other federal roads in the State for the spot assessment of the projects and as a matter of urgency, the Committee should invite the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to come and explain the present level of the Federal roads in question in the State”,Sulaiman added.

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Earlier, while declaring the investigative hearing opened, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara identified that some federal roads were embarked upon by the State
government without approval and due process of public procurement act as passed in 2007 by the National Assembly, urging the investigative Committee to draw the modalities on how the Federal Government would refund such funds back to the States in line with the Procurement act.

Honourable Dogara maintained that it was necessary to look for alternative source of funding the Federal government road projects in each State of the Federation, saluting the members of the Committee
for committed to the good governance and legislative service delivery to the people of the Country.


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