THE parley between Osun State government under the leadership of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and some contractors in the state to loot the state’s treasury has reached a deadlock as three of the contractors have been sanctioned.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the state government penalized the three contractors for their failure to execute some projects worth N180 million, which was awarded to the contractors over three years ago.
According to a reliable source at the Ministry of Works and Transport, the state government had ordered the contractors to refund the money within a period of time. It was gathered that the contracts had been awarded to the embattled contractors since 2005, without any attempt to mobilize to the sites.
Findings further showed that equipment valued at N163 million belonging to one of the contractors had been confisticated by the state government, while the two others were expected to refund over 20 million.
Defending the action of the state government, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Dr. Bayo Faforiji explained that some of the contractors lied to the government before securing the contracts.
Faforiji disclosed that some of the equipment of the contractors were not functioning, stressing that there was no sign of seriousness on the part of the contractors, which prompted the government to terminate the contracts. He said: “Once we know the case is hopeless, we terminate such contract and ask for refund of the money paid. The government had to confisticate the equipment of one of the contractors. “One of the contractors will refund N12 million while the third contractor is expected to refund N10 million to the coffer of the state government”.
Findings showed that the contractors involved included those who handled the construction of public school buildings in the state and those that were awarded road contracts.
However, a human rights activist, Comrade Jide Afolabi, has faulted the state government on the grounds that before a contract could be awarded, all the equipment and documents of the contractors must be verified.
Afolabi said awarding contracts to the contractors by the state government was a plan to loot the treasury of the state government through the “kangaroo contracts”. He said: “This is not the right time for the state governor to confisticate equipment nor sanction contractors after they had wasted the tax payers’ money, which was supposed to have been used for other projects that will benefit the entire people of the state”.
By ISMAIL USMAN