From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, has declared that despite the astronomical rise in price of construction materials, the  state government has jerked up the contract sum of the on-going road projects awarded in 2013.

Adegbite equally assured that the state government would adequately compensate persons whose houses were demolished to give right of way for the construction of a 5.5 Kilometres six lane road from Enugada to Adatan, two kilometres road from Mokola to Itoko and others in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Commissioner, who stated these while featuring on a local television programme at the weekend, said that the demolished buildings were marked in 2013 and owners were duly notified before demolition.

On the cost variation of the road projects, Adegbite explained that it took the intervention of Governor Amosun who insisted and convinced the contractors on why there could be no price variation on the road projects.

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According to him, “the global economic recession had slowed down the pace of work on these projects because the governor was of the opinion that payment of civil servants salaries and other emoluments should take priority over road projects”.

’’The record is there for everybody to see. The governor as an accountant and a financial engineer was able to convince these contractors why price variation on all of these projects was not possible without compromising the standard. Government for now, has not revisited the cost of the contacts”.

He, however, noted, that a consultant hired by the government had gone round to assess the demolished buildings and advised accordingly, how much should be paid as compensation to the affected residents, which according to him, were in two categories.

“The first category of compensation would be paid to owners of the buildings and those who have buried their dead relatives in their compounds which they have to exhume and rebury in another location. The second one which is ’merciful grants’ is meant for those who do not have money to pack their belongings to a new place”. Adegbite said.

The commissioner, therefore, maintained that government had mobilised all the contractors back to sites noting those who were yet to go back due to some factors, would do so, latest by the end of April.