The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday, condemned the Federal Controller of Works in Ekiti State, Hezekiah Kehinde, for siting the ongoing national housing project in a location far from the heart of Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
The former Lagos State Governor, who visited the site in company with Governor Ayodele Fayose, and the state Commissioner for Works, Mrs Funmi Ogun, said the location of the project along the Ado-Iworoko Road was not proper – owing to the insecurity of the site.
Speaking while inspecting the housing estate being constructed by Minosa Nigeria Limited, Fashola indicted the controller over the siting of the project, saying the siting was unprofessional.
The minister, who was also taken round some of projects by the governor, noted that some of the projects were constructed along federal roads.
He added that that was the type of collaboration needed between state and federal governments.
He described the expansion of the Ado-Akure highway at Ikere Ekiti by the state government as impressive and heartwarming.
“We saw all the projects being executed by the state government; this is the kind of collaboration that the Federal Government welcomes. What is important is how much service we deliver to the people we are to serve. Of course, roads are shared among the tiers of government, but what is important is the service to the people.
“In the area of housing, the state ought to lead, but there is nothing wrong with the Federal Government coming in to support. It will create job opportunities for different categories of people and it will boost the local economy too,” he said.
The minister said the estate might be relocated to another befitting location that would give room for proximity to Ado Ekiti and ensure security of prospective occupants when completed.
“We will have to discuss a possible relocation of this place when I get to Abuja. You said you were given this site, even if this is where the government had allocated for it, I expect you to give a professional advice that this place is not likely to be suitable,” he said.
The controller, however, claimed he made frantic efforts to seek audience with Fayose for possible relocation, but the efforts were futile.
The governor described the minister’s visit as very timely, saying it came at a time when massive constructions were being undertaken along the Ado-Aramoko-Ita Ure and Ado-Ikere-Akure roads.
Faulting the claims by the controller that he visited his office, Fayose said, “You said you came to my office and you didn’t see me, why couldn’t you make effort to send a message? I was not even aware that such a project was ongoing in that far area.”
The governor said his administration had submitted outstanding bills to the Federal Government on the funds that had been expended by the state to rehabilitate federal roads.
“We have submitted our papers and I think the Federal Government will pay us when it is convenient. The minister had done on-the-spot assessments, he knows the situation and what we expect is the rehabilitation of these dilapidated roads and Ekiti is ready to partner in this regard,” he said.