21st February, 2016
The senator representing Ondo North senatorial district, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice has called on the Federal Government to undertake thorough and technical audit of all federal roads in Ondo State to establish the probity or otherwise of the claim by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration that it expended over N11bn on federal roads in the State.
Senator Boroffice, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, demanded that the team led by the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi should publish its reports and recommendations on federal roads in Ondo State for public consumption and scrutiny.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Kayode Adeniyi, the senator described the financial claim by the Ondo State Government as bogus, conflicting and deceitful while urging the federal government to exercise circumspection in handling the issue.
“I salute the bold move by the Federal Government to reimburse the state governments for federal road projects rehabilitated and constructed across the country. With this move, the Federal Government has scored another first because it is a sharp departure from the awful past when the federal government paid lip services to such demands from state governments,” Boroffice said.
“However, it is quite crucial to unambiguously state that the claim by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration that it spent over 11bn on federal roads within Ondo State is bogus, conflicting and deceitful.
“Although, the people are aware that a team led by Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, paid a courtesy visit to the governor on the issue recently. However, the people are unaware of any painstaking effort to audit the affected roads in order to ascertain the probity or otherwise of the bogus claim by the government. The people believe such verification exercise cannot be wholly determined by courtesy visit. Hence, the demand that the Ameachi-led team should lay its reports and recommendations bare for public scrutiny.
He noted that: “It is on record that while Governor Olusegun Mimiko claimed on a live programme in November, 2015 that the state government is owed N7bn being expenditure on federal roads, a former Commissioner for Works and appointee of the governor, had told media correspondents, few months earlier, that state government spent N11 billion on same. Since a clear contradiction has been established, it behooves on the Mimiko-led administration to publicly reconcile these conflicting figures in the spirit of transparency.
”Also, a painstaking audit of the reportedly rehabilitated list of roads will indicate a pattern of roads that were either not reconstructed or badly rehabilitated and are presently death traps.
“Recently, I decried the poor state of the Owo-Ipele–Idoani–Isua road, Akungba-Oka Akoko-Isua road and others, urging the authorities to fix them. It beats imagination why the present administration will seek to make fortune from these death traps. For our people, they prefer that such money is deployed to fix these death traps rather than handed over to the Mimiko-led administration that has an infamous reputation for the misappropriation of the #14bn bail-out funds it received from the federal government and other intervention funds.
“At the same time, it should be noted that there is a widespread jubilation in the camp of top government officials and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State as a free package of #11bn is being expected from Abuja with which they intend to pursue the 2016 Ondo State governorship election,” he added.
Boroffice stated that “The above revelation is yet another reason why it is necessary for the Federal Government through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to exercise circumspection in handling the issue.”