By Dayo Johnson
THE Contract Review Committee set up by the Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko to look into contracts awarded by his predecessor, Dr Olusegun Agaguâ€™s administration yesterday submitted its report that contracts awarded between 2003 and 2009 failed to follow due process.
This is coming as Governor Mimiko allayed fears over delay in making public the position of the finance of the state, saying that his administration would have to weigh the liability and the asset left behind by the last administration before knowing what was left in the coffers.
Dr Mimiko pointed out that with the submission of the report of the Contract review committee the people of the state would soon know what was left in the coffers by the last administration. The committee was mandated to look into project name, date of award, expected date of completion and payment made so far by the last administration.
Chairman of the 16 member Committee, Engineer Gabriel Akinjo told the gathering which included members of the State Executive Council, Labour Party chieftains in the state that the contract awarded by Dr Agagu during the period under review was 1,400. He said the three volume report included contracts awarded by the State Oil Producing Area Development Commission OSOPADEC.
The Chairman who expressed disappointment in the manner contracts were awarded by the last administration said â€œthe contracts were just awarded without following due process; you just see contractors and consultants on site.
He pointed out that the present administration should guide against such flagrant and deliberate flouting of due process in the award of contracts.
Akinjo said after the committee was inaugurated in March this year it visited all the projects scattered across the state and was able to have first hand information on the contracts and that the reports are in two phases.
He pointed out that phase 1 contains contracts awarded from 2003 to 2009 and phase 11 contracts from June 2003 to 2008. According to him, findings showed that the last administration gave contracts at will without following all the laid down procedure as regards the award of contracts.
The Committee Chairman expressed dissatisfaction over the execution of the projects done as compared with huge sum of money collected by the contractor handling the project. According to him, contractor failed to use standard and quality materials for most of the contract awarded them.
Responding, the Governor denied that the contract review committee was set up to witch-hunt the last administration but that government â€œhas the responsibility to get value for funds allocated to contracts, to know the accurate indebtedness of government and know what is on ground .
Dr Mimiko added that â€œif there are cases of lapses, to correct them and if financial misdemeanors are discovered to invite those involved and to take necessary and appropriate action, if contracts are not done to the expectation of government compared with funds released to contractors to recall such contractors and if need be to review any contract that government feels should be reviewed.
The governor who spoke on the controversy over the state of the finance since he assumed office said that government would have to know the liquid asset, assets not liquid and the liabilities before a conclusion could be arrived at as to the funds left by the last administration.
â€œWith the submission of this report, the people of the state donâ€™t have to wait for too long before they know what the state of the finance I, we would be objective with fact that are incontrovertible then people can make their interpretations.