Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, flagged off the construction of the N1.05 billion fly-over across the Idi-Ape-Basorun-Akobo road, Ibadan, declaring that the state was saving about N400 million from the failed contract awarded by the immediate past administration in the state.
Governor Makinde, who spoke at the brief flag-off ceremony at the foot of the overhead bridge, said that the state government would put machinery in motion to recover the outstanding funds, which, he said, the previous contractor collected but didn’t work for.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, explained that the governor, while speaking at the event held at the IDC Primary School, Basorun, Ibadan, said the flyover was vital to the socio-economic growth of the state.
The governor said the construction of the project will curb the menace of gridlock that usually characterised vehicular movement on the road.
He disclosed that the 65-metre fly-over was contracted to Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Limited “for a completion period of six months through the Alternative Project Funding Approach.”
He equally charged the people of Idi-Ape-Basorun/Akobo areas to monitor the progress of the construction work and report any observation about the contractor’s performance to the government for necessary action.
According to Governor Makinde, the contractor would finance the project up to 20 per cent completion stage before the government would start paying on instalment basis for 12 months.
He also stated that his administration would continue to embark on projects that would enhance the economic development of the state.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof. Dahud Sangodoyin, had told journalists at the Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, that the State Executive Council had approved the construction of the flyover.
He said: “The Executive Council deliberated on the construction of a flyover across Akobo-Ojurin up to Odogbo Barracks, which is the end of General Gas and it was approved that the flyover should be constructed.
“It covers a length of 65 meters excluding the abridged length of the road. It will serve the Akobo-Ojurin and Odogbo axis. It is part of the developmental agenda of His Excellency, Engineer ‘Seyi Makinde, to improve on the socio-economic space of the state.
“So, we believe that this bridge, when completed, will give us the values for the money that will be spent on it.
“The project has been awarded to Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Limited and the completion time is six months.
“Let me add that our administration has been able to save a lot of money on this flyover simply because it was awarded by the last administration around 19th of May, 2017, and when we found out that the contractor was unable to perform, the contract was terminated in the year 2020. So, we have re-awarded the entire asphaltic layer to Fax Construction and left out the flyover part of it.
“So, yesterday (Tuesday), we looked at the cost of the contract, which was N1.464 billion in 2017, and the contractor that had worked on it exhibited slow performance, therefore, it was terminated. The state government had paid N368 million for the bridge works.
“Now, this new contract, which we are re-awarding to Peculiar Ultimate Concerns will cost about N1.058b and the difference is close to about N400million, which our government has actually saved.”
While also briefing the media on Wednesday, the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, confirmed the decision of the state government to upgrade the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, to a University of Education.
He said that the decision was in line with the commitment of the administration to transform the education sector of the state to attain global standards.
He said of the State Executive Council meeting held on Tuesday approved “upgrading the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education to a University of Education.
“The whole essence of this is for us to deal with teachers and the problem of education from the baseline by producing competent educators and teachers with requisite pedagogical skills.
“The school, in recent years, has been running an affiliated degree programme with another university and we realized that the students in that programme actually outnumbered even the NCE students that represent the core mandate of the school. “So, the school as it is today, with the infrastructure, materials, and skill of the educators there, can actually take off as a university.
“We also realised that the students, nowadays, prefer to have a degree than just NCE. So, with the location of the school, the presence of the Federal College of Education in Oyo and the College of Education at Lanlate, we believe the school has sources for students that can take the degree programme. It can stand, and based on that, the cabinet approved the upgrading of the school.
“Now, we will take steps to apply to the relevant authorities for upgrading any moment from now.”
Also at the briefing, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, confirmed the receipt of a total of 127,740 doses of the AstraZeneca brand of the Covid-19 vaccine by Oyo State.
He, however, said that the state is putting in place measures to perfect the vaccination process, especially in view of complaints in some countries, particularly most European nations like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and France.
He said that the state has been putting in place necessary precautions to ensure that nobody who takes the vaccine is put at risk.
He said: “We, too, in Oyo State have to take some basic precautionary measures. One of the measures was that we ensure first of all, because of the potency of the vaccine, the type we got was the one that can only operate within +2degree centigrade to +8degree centigrade which we have at our Jericho Cold Store.
“We are trying to ensure that the state modifies its own website because it is a national website for those intending to take the jabs and this has given rise to some misconceptions because some people wrongfully thought Oyo State has got the vaccine and they don’t know what we are doing.
“But the correct information is that there are some information necessary for every individual to be vaccinated. We are now, along with international websites, inputting some pieces of information so that the Oyo State website will be fairly distinct in that we will be able to catch up on some things.
“So, we are trying to take the precautions along with the vaccination procedure. One of the factors some countries gave was intravascular coagulation, a factor which means that the blood will clot within the vessels. The subsequent result of this is that, if it blocks any part of the body and that body is no longer vesiculated, it will result in paralysis for that side, because there is no blood in circulation. But if perchance it involves the coronary artery, which is a very tiny one, it will lead to shock and immediate death.
“So, in Oyo State, we will add what we call a coagulometer, which we have had at Olodo all along, but it is going to be optional. That is one of the precautions Oyo State is trying to take along with its vaccination procedure.”