By Dayo Johnson
AKUREâ€”The Ondo State government has justified the N118 million contract award for the reconstruction of the failed portion on the federal highway at Ogbese town along the Akure/Benin.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko while speaking with newsmen after an inspection tour of the rehabilitation work at the hitherto bad stretch and other projects embarked upon by his administration within six months assured that the present administration would not embark on frivolous projects without any positive impact on the lives of the people.
Dr Mimiko was accompanied by members of the state executive council to visit the road projects, Mother and Child Hospital and two Housing projects under construction. He expressed satisfaction at the pace of job by the construction firm.
The governor said on assumption of office in February he felt concerned about the deplorable conditions of Federal roads in the State, particularly the Federal Highways and therefore directed the State Ministry of Works to urgently set in motion the process of rehabilitating the road to ameliorate the suffering of the road users and reduce the unnecessary carnage and loss of man-hour on the road.
The governor said the Ministry of Works took inventory of the failed portions, prepared the Bills of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) for nine identified failed portions on the road by direct labour.
According to him, â€œ due to the enormous volume of work and cost involved in the Ogbese-Akure section of the failed portion, approval was given to rehabilitate the Ogbese-Akure section by contract in view of the urgency attached to the rehabilitation of the road.”
â€œYou all saw the harrowing experience of commuters who ply this road which leads to Edo State as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja went through.
â€œIf we say that because it is a Federal Highway and we close our eyes and allow the road to be completely cut off while lives and properties worth millions of Naira were being lost almost on a daily basis, it will be a disservice to this nation as well as our own people.
â€œThis is the reason why we had to intervene despite our lean resources in order to arrest this ugly trend and we are happy that today, those who ply this road are happy despite what some people who ruled this State for six years said and left the roads in ruins.
The governor insisted that contrary to the insinuations in some quarters that the amount of the contract was not commensurate with the nature and quality of the job expected by the state government, he said â€œany right thinking and objective minded person will see that the amount is commensurate with the type of job, given its planning and quality; the scope of the job as you can see, is huge.
It is also very embracing and encompassing. In fact, there is no type of job on federal road that is of good quality as this oneâ€
Dr Mimiko stated that the raining season has partially affected the time for the completion of the job, noting that the contractor has been directed to deliver an acceptable and quality job and that the present administration would not accept shoddy job from any contractor in the state.