By Ola Ajayi
FOLLOWING the directive by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State that termination of N400m contract for the building of Oba Akinbiyi High School, Oremeji, Ibadan be investigated, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, the former Commissioner for Education has said it is “immoral and ungovernor-like” to make press comments on issues that the governor had not been adequately briefed.
The governor had, on Monday, paid an unscheduled visit to the school which was constructed by the administration of late Abiola Ajimobi.
He frowned at the alleged structural defects noticed in the building, stating that the walls and the tiles were already giving way just one year after completion, adding that the structural integrity of the entire building was doubtful considering its present dilapidated state.
The governor said: “In the file that came to me, this place was commissioned the week that I took over, 29th of May, 2019, a year plus ago. You can see it out there. Even the Oba Akinbiyi they wrote (the signboard) there, is falling off. If you go inside, the tiles are broken. The structural integrity of the entire building is doubtful, and we have teachers and students in there. We don’t want the building to collapse on anybody. So, we came to check.
“The borehole is not working. According to the principal, they have 57 toilets in here, but the students still go to the bush to do stuff. From the report that came to me, the contract was terminated from the original contractor and over N400 Million was released by the government to complete it through direct labour.
“So, I believe they will have to make some explanations as to why, first, the contract was terminated; second, why N400 Million was spent and the tiles, the doors, everything are basically broken.”
“Allow Ajimobi to rest in peace”-Olowofela
While reacting to the governor’s comments, Prof Olowofela explained that the initial arrangement was that the contractor would fund the projects and Government would pay later.
“When it was obvious that the “financial” of the contractor can not provide the fund for him, Government decided to construct three model schools and fund it based on milestones achieved”.
“At a point, it became obvious that the pace at which the projects were going, they may not be completed during the administration of Governor Ajimobi”.
“At one of the cabinets meetings, the contracts were terminated and the Ministry of works , was directed, to take over the completion of the projects”.
“Ministry of work took over the constructions of Oba Akinbiyi Model School and Islamic model school while that of Saki could not be completed within the time frame left.”
“Dear Governor Seyi Makinde, I believe strongly that you ought to look at all these and possibly asked for detailed reports (from both Ministry of Education and Works) before your derogatory comments on the late Governor Ajimobi”.
“While I am not appealing to you to cover any shady deals, if any, it is immoral and ungovernor-like to make press comments on issues that you have not been adequately briefed,” he said.