Residents of Olomi/Olojuoro/Olunde, in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday, expressed frustration over the slow pace of the Ijebu-Igbo-Ibadan road project, citing inadequate mobilization funds as the primary cause.
The residents, who appealed for swift action to expedite construction of the road, voiced their concerns to the Federal House of Representatives Adhoc Committee, who came to the scene yesterday (Thursday) to overseeing the progress of the project progress.
Recall that the project, which was originally awarded in 2018 with a targeted completion date of 2020, had encountered significant delay due to funding issues. It wasn’t until 2023 that the Federal Ministry of Works disbursed a 15 per cent mobilization fee of N1.3 billion to the project’s contractor, DC Engineering Ltd.
As a result of the controversy, the community members expressed apprehensions about alleged irregularities in the management of the project.
As previously reported, House of Representatives member Hon. Tolulope Akande Sadipe, representing Oluyole Federal Constituency, faced accusations of collaborating with officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to re-award the 41km road project to another contractor, Areatech Construction Ltd, for a substantial N54 billion, surpassing the original contract sum of N9.8 billion.
During an oversight visit by a Federal House of Representatives adhoc committee led by Hon. kwamoti Bitrus Laori, engineers on site explained how the insufficient mobilization funds had severely hindered project progress. They emphasized that despite this financial setback, DC Engineering Ltd was diligently pushing forward with the construction.
Speaking on behalf of DC Engineering Ltd, Engr. Isaac expressed astonishment at the turn of events, highlighting the contrast between the initial ₦9.8 billion contract sum awarded to their company and the meager ₦1.3 billion mobilization fund, which has purportedly been diverted to another company for ₦54 billion.
Residents were left perplexed by Hon. Sadipe’s inhumane actions and questioned potential monetary interests behind the decision.
They vehemently accused Hon. Tolulope Akande Sadipe of prioritizing personal gain over the welfare of the community.
While acknowledging the contractor’s dedication despite limited funds, residents called upon the government to take immediate action to expedite the road’s completion, alleviating the hardships being faced on the road by the community.
The committee assured the community that they would present their findings to the House and take appropriate action in the public’s interest soon.
This situation underscores the pressing need for transparent and efficient allocation of funds in infrastructure projects to ensure timely completion and benefit the local population.
Some of the locations visited during the oversight function include Iyana Shehu; Ile-Epo Lucas station; Ile-Epo Inukan; Olunde Junction; Fatusi bridge, Arogo; Aiyegun Market and Lanfa Bridge.