PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration in Osun State under the leadership of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola has concluded fresh plans to squander the state scarce funds on projects that would facilitate easy siphoning of public wealth as the state government has resolved to embark on construction of N5billion stadia across in the state.
Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly had last Tuesday while passing the state budget for 2009 into law stated that the state’s appropriation bill was increased by N10 billion to allow the state sports council have enough money to finance the stadia projects.
Investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER however revealed that the stadia projects are appropriated in the budget to afford the administration a way to loot the state treasury, especially as the Sports Council is under direct supervision of the governor.
Oyinlola had also last Tuesday stated that the N5 billion would be used to construct an Olympic size stadium in Osogbo, the state capital, while five other stadia would be built in the state to meet international standard.
OSUN DEFENDER’s investigation showed that the embattled state governor had abandoned the sports sector since the inception of his administration in the state, but has now resolved to pump the state resources to the sector which is under his complete supervision and control.
The medium also gathered that at different times, the stadium management has been used to squander the wealth of the state without anyone raising an eye brow since the sector is not in the public glare.
It was revealed that early this year, a N20 million turf resurfacing contract was allegedly awarded to a local contractor and the money went down the drain as the contractor was said to have merely unearthed grasses around the stadium area and replanted it on the pitch as no one bothered on quality of work done on the pitch.
A source close to the office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports disclosed that the administration has discovered that no one ever has interest in what transpired in the sport sectors, hence, its decision to wrap things around the stadia construction.
Reacting on the issue, a seasoned sport administrator, who preferred anonymity said that the state at this time does not need six standard stadia to facilitate sports development in the state.
He stated that what the state needs now is the upgrading of the sports stadium in Osogbo to a standard sports stadium and improve the facilities at the games village at Ijebu-Jesa and not construction of six international stadia in a state that has a population of a little over 3million.
According to him, “even Lagos has only two standard stadia, while other states have only one standard stadium and a training pitch each. Why are we then trying to waste scarce resources on six unnecessary stadia.
Reacting on the issue, the Chairman of Independent Masses Forum (IMF), Mr. Kolawole Olayiwola opined that the state government’s resolve is uncalled-for especially at this time when poverty is eating deep into every house-hold.
He stated further that Osun residents do not need six stadia at this time but projects that are capable of improving the lot of the masses, cautioning Oyinlola to avoid recklessness in managing the wealth of the people.
– SHINA ABUBAKAR