Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State yesterday ordered the immediate stoppage of work on the Ibadan Circular Road project site located around Lagos-Ibadan Bye-Pass, Ibadan.
Makinde gave the directive during an inspection tour of the 32-kilometre road awarded for N70 billion by the immediate past administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The project is being constructed on a Public-Private-Partnership plan of Build, Operate and Transfer, originally meant to be completed within 18 months.
The concessionaire company handling the project, ENL Consortium Limited, according to the project details, was to source the required funds for the project and build to government specification.
But when Makinde visited the site, he expressed disappointment at the level of work done so far on the site, saying he was not satisfied with what he had heard and saw with the level of work done.
He expressed shock that a project, which was awarded since 2017, is still at about 5.5 per cent completed, adding that the government would pull back and review the processes before deciding on the way forward.
“But the Executive Director, ENL Consortium, Dr. Kemi George, told the governor that the company had issues with some of its financial partners who pulled out of the deal and which was responsible for the slow pace of work on the project site.
She, however, assured the governor that the company recently got other willing financiers, adding that work is now set to improve.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government has said that it will make efforts to attract the Federal Government to fix the federal roads within the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Public Works and Transport, Prof. Raphael Afonja, disclosed this yesterday while speaking with newsmen after an inspection of the Oyo-Iseyin Road for a detailed assessment necessitated by the rising complaints from the public.
Afonja said it was impossible for the state to fix the road because of paucity of funds.
In another development, while presenting the 2019 hajj operation report, Chairman, Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Prof. Sayed Malik, said that one Anifat Saheed, one of the 914 pilgrims that took part in the 2019 hajj operation from the state absconded in the holy land.
According to Malik, the disappearance of Anifat was noticed when the board was preparing the last batch of pilgrims for their journey to King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, on September 1, 2019, and all efforts to locate her proved abortive.
He added that the board tried to locate the address of the pilgrim’s guarantor at Sango, Ibadan, without success, adding that “up till this moment, neither her guarantor nor any of her relations have come to the board office to ask about her whereabout”.