How ex-minister Sunday Dare influenced work minister to include Ogbomoso-Oyo road section in project list
Following a news report by Ogbomoso Insight on Sunday on the ongoing construction of the new Ilorin-Ibadan dual-carriageway, which has it that the last section remaining, Ogbomoso-Oyo, is nearing completion, even as it is reported the project had reached the Ogbomoso metropolis from Oyo, a report that elicited a lot of joy, it has further led to a revelation of how the project got included in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) tax funding scheme in the last minute.
It is learnt the drive for the inclusion of the section in the NNPC tax funding scheme initiated in the tail end of former President Muhammadu administration, was triggered by the immediate past Minister for Youth and Sports Development, who put pressure on his colleague, the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fasola (SAN).
“Without that last minute inclusion,” a source close to Chief Sunday Dare told ogbomosoinsightonline.com, “the Ogbomoso-Oyo section of the road project would have suffered further abandonment for lack of funding.”
The source explained that Chief Dare, who is Agbaakin of Ogbomosoland, when the matter came up for mention had to use his influence with Fasola to get him to include the road section in the NNPC tax funding scheme resorted to by the federal government.
It was further relayed that previously “the federal government got SUKUK fund to start the project but when the fund was exhausted the project could not continue.”
When contacted Chief Dare corroborated the story saying, “Yes, I was the person who worked with the works minister Raji Fashola and pleaded with him to have Oyo to Ogbomoso road included in the new NNPC tax funding scheme.
“That’s how we were the last to be included in the memo presented to the federal Executive Council and that is the fund now being used for it’s completion.”
ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalled that Fasola assured the Oyo – Ogbomoso road was now fully supported by the NNPC tax credit, attributing this to the progress being recorded on the project at the time.
The former minister had added that the contractor, Reynold Construction Company (RCC), should not have any problem delaying the completion of the project in view of the availability of fund.
He had affirmed, “We expect that by November 2023, the work would be completed fully and relief would come to Oyo and Ogbomoso towns since all the heavy trucks will come through the new road instead of going through the two towns and the gridlock and accident that used to happen will become history.”
N1.5trn was approved under the NNPC tax credit Scheme to Rehabilitate 700 Kilometres of roads across the country.
Announcing the approval Fasola had disclosed: “The Council gave approval for the construction and rehabilitation of 11 roads totaling 737.242 kilometers in the sum of N1, 535, 154, 247, 234.48 under phase II of the NNPC tax credit scheme.
“Recall that in January this year, the council approved a memo for the NNPC to invest N1.9 trillion on our roads. That amount was then about 44 roads that had been awarded and the balance of those roads that had to go through procurement between then and now are the 11 that have now been approved by the council”.