Hey there, middle schoolers! Today, we’re going to talk about a little drama happening in the government. So, there’s this committee in the House of Representatives that’s investigating a road project called the Ijebu-Igbo-Ibadan road project. They’re looking into some issues with the project, like why it’s taking so long and why there’s some disagreement about who should be working on it.
Last week, the committee went to visit the project site in Ibadan and parts of Ogun State. They wanted to see what was going on for themselves. Then, they invited the Federal Ministry of Works and the contractor to a meeting to ask them some questions.
During the meeting, the lawmakers asked the Ministry of Works why they gave the project to a different company when the original contractor was still working on it. The Director of Highway (South West) from the Ministry, Engr. Adedamola Kuti, said that the contract with the original company had been terminated and given to two other companies. He promised to show the lawmakers a copy of the termination letter within 72 hours.
But here’s the thing, after three weeks, nobody from the Ministry of Works could find that termination letter. They also couldn’t provide any letters showing that the government approved giving the project to another company for N54 billion. And they didn’t have any information about how the bidding process happened.
The original contractor, Engr. Ade Adedeji from DC Engineering Ltd, told the committee that they never received a termination letter from the ministry. He said their equipment and workers are still at the project site, and the ministry even paid them last month. He was confused about why the ministry didn’t listen to their request to review the project’s cost, which had gone up from N9.8 billion to at least N14 billion. And now, the same project was given to another contractor for N54 billion.
When the lawmakers asked the Ministry of Works to explain themselves, there was some confusion. The Deputy Director of Highway, Engr. Agboola Olajide, said that the termination letter hadn’t been issued yet, but the project was given to another company, Areatech Construction Ltd, in September 2022. He said it’s the legal department’s job to issue the termination letter. The lawmakers didn’t understand why the different departments in the ministry weren’t working together.
So, that’s the situation, middle schoolers. The committee is trying to figure out what’s really going on with this road project. They want to know why the original contractor was replaced and why there’s no paperwork to back it up. It’s a bit of a mystery, but hopefully, they’ll get to the bottom of it soon!