The Edo State Government has taken over the construction of the Lawani Crescent Road project in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.
The action of the state government followed a viral video online exposing the poorly executed Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency Road project, sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Peter O. Akpatason through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
During inspection of the project site, representative of the Governor and Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said the state has maintained a standard in execution of road projects across the state, describing the project in Akoko-Edo as substandard.
The governor ordered for the arrest of the contractor handling the project, while urging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to immediately commence investigations by inviting Hon. Akpatason, the facilitator of the contract to explain his role in the execution of the project.
The governor praised the whistleblower who brought the poorly executed road project to the attention of the state government, noting that the bad job done does not represent the standard of projects in Edo State or Akoko-Edo community.
He noted: “I want to thank you for raising the alarm over this bad job. If you had not raised the alarm, it would have been on paper that this road has been completed. I call on you to take charge of all government properties in your area.
“The contractor handling this project must be arrested for the bad job done and handed over to ICPC and the EFCC, alongside the honourable member representing the people of the area. This is to enable us ascertain what happened. When the government is doing anything for you, please take charge of it.”
The governor continued: “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole made a statement that the only job taking place in Edo North is by honourable members and the senator. In Edo State, we don’t have problems with our representatives and senators.
“Senator Francis Alimikihena wrote to the Edo State Government that he wants to build a dialysis centre and his request was granted and a space provided. The senator was supervised to ensure he sticks to the state’s standard.
“Hon. Peter Akpatason’s case was not like that as he didn’t do the same. I am aware that N360 million has been assigned to him for constituency projects for Akoko-Edo people.”
On the fate of the project, he said, “Edo-SEEFOR is taking over this road. The Edo State Government is taking over the reconstruction of this road immediately. This job has been revoked. N360m is what is allocated to Akoko-Edo constituency projects by the National Assembly this year. We would investigate all that to ensure we have value for money; this bad job can’t be accepted as it is not up to our standard in Edo State.”
On his part, Project Coordinator of Edo-SEEFOR, Toju Onaiwu stated, “We been directed to go ahead and rehabilitate the road. The drainage is in bad shape and needs to be reconstructed; the asphalting work has also failed and we will do the needful.
“My team is on ground to take the measurements and make the appropriate recommendation for work to commence.”
A resident in the area, Yahaya Afekai, however, commended the state government for prompt response to the cries of the people, stressing that the high standards maintained in road construction in the state must be strictly followed.