The Oyo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo has revealed that Governor Seyi Makinde has never intruded with the contract award process of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUMFP), as opposed to news making the rounds in the media.
He further added that the state government has been following the due procedure in the award of the World Bank-sponsored IUMF saying that Governor Makinde is a meticulous man, always insisting on following due process and value for money in all instances.
“It is an obvious concoction, an unfounded lie, and a news story aimed at tarnishing the image of the amiable governor and raising undue dust about a state that is diligently delivering on the mandate of IUMFP,” the Commissioner said.
He also said that the state government and the World Bank were not disagreeing with the project, saying that due procedure is followed strictly.
The Commissioner, who gave media officers an audience in Ibadan, said that it was awful for media houses to misrepresent facts and figures in a plot to smear the project with unfair controversy.
“Everything published especially by Sahara Reporters on the IUMFP project amounts to lies. The process is still ongoing, and I assure you that when the process is completed, the state will be vindicated,” he said.
He also discredited imputations that the lowest bidder was not being considered for the contract, clarifying that the lowest bidder is not a guarantee of value for money and capacity to deliver on terms.
“That someone is the lowest bidder doesn’t guarantee value for money. What we need is good quality work that will enhance the service delivery of IUMFP,” he said.
News channels last week alleged that some unruly actions were strangling the implementation of the $200m World Bank-sponsored Ibadan Urban Flood Management project.
A non-governmental Organisation in Ibadan, called Ibadan Ko’ya anti-corruption coalition, in a statement published by the same outfits, called attention to the state almost losing the $200million World Bank-sponsored project as a result of what it called shady procedures.
“The IUFMP management had independently appointed qualified assessors to review the bids for the Second Pool of works, with the contractors being assessed and the state only approving the recommendations made by the assessment and thereafter sending them to the World Bank for No Objection.
“Contrary to the insinuations contained in the recent media reports about the World Bank-sponsored project under the IUMFP, there is no threat whatsoever, as the process is still ongoing.
“We are certain that when the process is completed, we will be vindicated,” Ojo said.
Dayo Ayorinde, the Project Coordinator, IUFMP, said that the statements in the said report were false and unfounded in their entirety, coupled with the fact that it negates the truth of the situation in the bidding process as well as the process of engaging contractors for the Second Pool of works at the IUFMP.
He said: “To the best of our knowledge, there was NO QUERY to the State Government from the World Bank. The Bidding Process is on course; the two parties involved (the Oyo State Government and the World Bank) are positively engaging the Bid Evaluation Report (BER) through the PIU, and the process is within schedule.”
He added that “the slightest explanation that one could give to this unfortunate story is that it is the ploy of mischief-makers, who probably because of certain misgivings, wanted to throw a spanner in the wheels of progress in Oyo State.”