By: Patick Ochoga
Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, today said the gigantic Benin Central Hospital waiting to be privatized by Governor Godwin Obaseki is a disaster waiting to happen owing to refusal by the immediate past government of Adams Oshiomhiole to adhere to structural recommendation by experts.
Edo State chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, who issued the warning in Benin yesterday, accused former Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State of ignoring the recommendations of a probe panel set up to look into the remote causes of the collapse of the building in 2011.
Orbih said the team of expert recommended a total bringing down of the structure or massive reinforcements through the construction of expensive beams in order to avert a future collapse, but that the then state government disregarded the recommendations.
Orbih also said that the Edo State government needed to open the books of the Edo University, Iyamho, so that the true owners of the university will be known as he insisted that the law establishing the university that the “university will be a public private partnership arrangement between the government and a company where the present governor was the chief executive officer.”
He said, “After the collapse of the building, a team of experts put together recommended a total bringing down of the entire structure or reinforcements with beams that could be as expensive as reconstructing the structure.
Neither of the recommendations was however followed. This is scary and I seriously pray that innocent lives will not be lost in that place due to the negligence of some people.”
Orbih also took a swipe at statement credited to Governor Godwin Obaseki that the state government would partner a firm to equip the hospital, informing that fund needed to equip the hospital had been provided for in the original contract for the construction of the hospital
He said, “I’m aware that the original contract included the supply of equipment for the hospital. The contractors were paid upfront. When the hospital collapsed, the supply could not be done.
“By the time the reconstruction was completed, the contractors admitted that they were to supply equipment but that they could no longer supply the equipment as the exchange rates had gone up.
“So, there are many questions begging for answers. Does that mean that the money paid to the contractors has disappeared? How much was the original contract sum? Most importantly, the state government must tell Edo people the total cost of building the so called five-star hospital that is no more than a hall now.”