From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

The Commissioner for Information in Ekiti State, Rt. Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that contracts awarded by the state government, including road contracts, were shrouded in secrecy.

He also emphasised that the processes of award of all the contracts were in accordance with the provisions of the procurement laws of the state.

The Commissioner made the clarification at a roundtable media parley with the Correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti state council, where he noted that all the projects were properly advertised before they were contracted out.

” I stand before you here without any fear of contradiction and with all honesty that government has been following the provision of the laws of procurement detailing the processes.

“Before any contract for project is awarded, it will be advertised.
There is no road that we have contracted out in this state under the leadership of Governor Biodun Oyebanji that has not been properly advertised.

“There are adminstrative procedures and nobody can circumvent any of them.

” I have details of every contract of roads in this state, figures are very clear, and we have contacts of the contractors.

“We have been following due process, it is non-negotiable.”

Speaking on the interlink roads, he said, “We are working seriously on them but you know, government is a serious business too, and it requires planning.

“The Omisanjana /Shepard/Ajebandele road, the Agric Olope/ Odo Ado roads are both link roads that government initiated their reconstruction and this administration is very strategic in ensuring free flow of traffic for socio-economic development.

“We cannot forget the proposed flyover from Ajilosun to Okeiyinmi that is expected to ease traffic on the ever busy road along the Ijigbo roundabout through the new Bus terminal and the market area to first bank.

“The Ring Road is also strategically designed to allow drivers who have no business in the city center to bypass Ado metropolis without compounding the traffic congestion.

“The Igede/ Ilawe gives access to drivers from Ilorin axis of the north to pass through Ekiti without adding to the traffic congestion in the State capital by going through Ilawe to Igbara Odo out of the State to Akure side or Lagos.

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“Government will continue to do this within the limit of available resources.”

Olatunbosun also clarified that the partnership with Lagos state on the local manufacturing of Dino Bins for waste management was to allow
transfer of skill and technology to the people, create job opportunities for them, and make Ekiti clean.

“People accused us that we brought in strangers from Lagos state to produce Dino Bins for us. No! What we are doing is transfer of skill and technology in line with global best practices and we must remember that we have Local content law of the government which is to prevent capital flight and help our local artisans develop.

“These people have the expertise and our own people are tapping into that at the work site where they are fabricating the bins so that they can learn from experience.

“They are currently in training and they are identified. The reasons they are there are to turn them to experts in making the Dino bins, making the bins more available and cheaper to acquire and providing job opportunities.

“It is, however, very important for people to take responsibility and desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse. It makes it difficult, if not impossible to keep the State clean if the residents refuse to adhere to basic principles of environment sanitation.
But, there has been an improvement; government is doing everything to ensure that we sanitize the State capital and nooks and crannies of the state.

“Government recently approved the procurement of three 4×2 hook-arm garbage trucks and 20 Dino bins that will be put in strategic places to stop arbitrary and indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the roads and medians.”

On the issue of water, the Commissioner said government has made a lot of progress in this regard.

“Government has made a lot of progress in the area of provision of potable water. Remember that the SURWASH programme is still ongoing with Ekiti being the only State in the South West region of the country benefiting in the World Bank assisted programme.

“We have also improved electricity supply to the State with the reconnection of some areas to the National grid after over a decade in darkness. The improvement in supply of electricity has in turn assisted in pumping water to the communities thus enhancing water supply.

“We have started pumping water in some places and already commenced process of changing the very old asbestos pipes towards improving water distribution network to the people.”

Sharing his thoughts on the area of tourism in the state, Olatunbosun expressed that the sector has witnessed tremendous change.
“The tourism table and business have changed, investors are coming to Ekiti State. The face of Ikogosi-Ekiti has changed, it is boosting the economy of the people and the state ”

Commenting on the recently inaugurated Independent Power Project (IPP) in the state by the Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, Olatunbosun said “it is to provide electricity for government establishments and some private concerns, for efficient services.

“It is a PPP, 3.6Mwatt, which will serve some government institutions, such as
Ekiti State University (EKSU), government offices, Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) etc.”