Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, on Thursday, said outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari administration will award projects till the last day of his tenure.
President Buhari’s eight-year tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
While speaking at the official flag-off of the construction and dualisation of the Akure/Ado road linking Ondo and Ekiti states, held in Akure, the Ondo state capital, Fashola lambasted those criticising Buhari for awarding contracts towards the end of his administration.
He described as ‘juvenile’ talks those attacking the outgoing government for awarding roads, electricity, and hospital projects, despite few days to go.
“People are saying why are we (Buhari government) still awarding contracts when we have just a few days to go. Should we stop this road now and wait for the next government? No.
“So, it is a juvenile conversation. They forgot amongst other things that the term of this administration ends at midnight on May 28,” Mr Fashola said.
According to Fashola, the construction and dualization of the Akure/Ado road linking Ondo and Ekiti states would gulp N90 billion.
He said the road which links Ondo and Ekiti states would be completed within two years, adding that awarding the project took so long because of the necessary process required by new procurement law.
“When the issue of the road came up, some people suggested that the road be rehabilitated and rehashphalted, but I said it would be dualised. It took this long because we had to do the redesigning of the road and other necessary documentation. So, I congratulate the governor and work will not stop until it is completed.
“The construction work on the road would cost over 90 billion Naira and shall be completed within 24 months. The contractor was awarded because of his track record.”
He explained that the project would be financed through the federal government’s Tax Credit Policy, meant to fund critical infrastructure in the country.
Noting that the construction would not be abandoned, Fashola commended the Minister of State for Transport, Mr Ademola Adegoroye, for his unrelenting efforts in ensuring the road was awarded by the outgoing government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He revealed how Adegoroye, who hails from Ondo state, would always remind him through phone calls about the construction of the Akure/Ado road.
“Barely under a year, I know how many memoranda he (Adegoroye) had presented and he always chases me with a telephone on this road.
“In fact, He told me he would not be able to return home after the expiration of his tenure if the road is not awarded,” the Minister added.
Speaking, Mr Adegoroye appreciated the Federal government for awarding the project for construction work, saying it would be a great benefit and ease transportation between the people of the two states – Ondo and Ekiti.
He also saluted the Minister of Works and Housing for his efforts in ensuring the award of the contract, adding that it was a big dream that finally come into manifestation.
Earlier, Ondo state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, said the construction and dualisation of the road would widen the potential, economy and business between the two neighbouring states.
Mr Akeredolu, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Raimi Aminu, added that the state government shall ensure the road is completed within the time frame.
On his part, Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, said the dualization of the Akure/Ado Road would put an end to the agony of the people.
Represented by the State Head of Service (HoS), Mr Dele Agbede, the governor noted that the road would also have an impact on the socio-economic development of both states.
He, however, appealed to contractors handling the road project to deliver quality jobs that would adhere strictly to the specifications.
The Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade, and Senator Ayo Akinyelure among several others witness the flag off of the road.
Daily Trust reports that the Akure/Ado Construction and Dualisation was awarded to Samchase Nigeria Limited and Kopek Construction Limited.