The federal government has commissioned N2.1 billion project constructed in Osogbo, Osun State as part of its ecological intervention.
The project, which cost a total of N2.156 billion, was awarded in 2016 and 2017 with the following details: Phase One, Okoko/Ogbagba, N1,257,791,992.86, Phase II Okoko N463,987,000, and Phase II Ogbagba N434,991,000.
This is even as the federal government lamented the unremitted N8.1 trillion by the past administration.
Speaking at the function, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari said, “The administration’s fight against corruption is very critical, in that it will free the much-needed resources for national development. Every kobo that is not looted is a plus for development.
But for the massive looting of the national treasury, most of the projects we are executing today, including those that have been abandoned for years, would have been completed.
“Now, recall that in 2016, while launching the Federal Government’s National Sensitisation Campaign against corruption, we did say that between 2006 and 2013, just 55 people stole a total of N1.34 trillion of public funds. We said, using the World Bank rates and costs, that one third of the stolen funds could have provided 635.18 kilometres of road; built 36 ultra-modern hospitals, built 183 schools; educated 3,974 children from primary to tertiary level and built 20,062 units of 2-bedroom houses.
“Today, there is even a bigger case. Recently, the Federal Government ordered an audit (between 2010 and 2015) of 15 government revenue generating agencies. The result was the discovery that the agencies had not remitted over N8.1 trillion to the Federation Account. This amount is about six times the N1.34 trillion that was stolen between 2006 and 2015. It is also the equivalent, on the average, of the country’s yearly national budget! Imagine, for a moment, how many kilometres of roads could have been constructed, how many kilometres of rail tracks that could have been laid, and how many modern hospitals and schools that could have been built if that money had been properly accounted for.”
On the project, Alhaji Mohammed explained that “The phase I of these triple project, which is the Channelization and De-silting of Ogbagba and Okoko Rivers in Osogbo Town, was one of 12, 4th Quarter, 2016 ecological intervention projects across the six Geo-political Zones of the Federation approved by Mr. President in October, 2016. The phase II, constituting the Flood Control and De-silting of Ogbagba River on the one hand, and the
Erosion Control and Channelisation of Okoko River on the other, were among the eighteen (18) ecological intervention projects approved by Mr. President for the 1st Quarter, 2017. Due to the prevailing circumstances, the contracts for phases I & II were awarded to the same Contractor almost at the same time in order to ensure continuity and uniformity of standards in the project implementation.
“Let me stress that the problems of erosion and flood menace along the Okoko and Ogbagba Rivers’ courses cannot be over-emphasized, in view of their obvious negative consequences on lives and property in Osogbo Town.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the successful completion of these projects would enhance the holistic solutions to soil erosion and flood menace in Osogbo Town. This would at the same time reduce the dangers to lives and property associated with erosion and persistent flooding that have been experienced here in the recent time.”
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