▪︎As State Govt. beefs up security around ministry of envitonment
The Edo State of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Col David Imuse (retd) has dared Governor Godwin Obaseki to carry out his threat to probe the multi-billion naira Benin stormwater project, commenced by his predecessor.
The party, in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Chris Azebamwan, urged the governor to institute the stormwater probe and make its findings public so that the very enlightened and informed Edo people would know the truth of the matter.
According to the statement:
“The governor while inspecting the Textile Mill Road catchment of the project, in Benin City, this week said the stormwater project was designed not to work for the benefit of Edo people.”
He had stated that his administration would probe the project and recover all the money stolen through it.
The APC said: “Edo people know that the project was jointly handled by the State Environment and Public Utilities and Works with several commissioners including the present Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie, who was in charge of the Works Ministry, being deeply involved.
“While the project was ongoing, Obaseki (as chairman of the Economic Team), regularly accompanied his predecessor to inspect the progress of work after he played the key role of sourcing the first N25 billion from the Capital Market through his company, Afrinvest, which reportedly got N1.5 billion commission from the deal.
“The commission paid to Afrinvest was for acting as Consultants to the project and drafting the project proposal which Obaseki, as the Head of Economic team, presented for approval to the State Executive Council and followed it up by shortlisting contractors for the project.
“It will be comical and equally ingenious of the Governor to carry out this probe. It will not only be revealing but end up as a milestone which could well turn out to become a benchmark for the country.
“The APC is disappointed over the failure of Governor Godwin Obaseki to showcase any achievement in his 100 days but would rather be taking to chasing shadows by threatening to probe a project he supervised its takeoff and later abandoned”.
Meanwhile, the state government has raised, what observers described as, a spurious alert over plot to burn the ministry of envitonmrnt and sustainability.
In a statement titled: “Government Special Announcement”, the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie said: “Following the commitment of the Edo State Government to probe the N30 billion Benin stormwater project, the state received intelligence of a possible arson at the offices of the Mnistry of Environment and Sustsinabilitu, which houses vital documents on the project.
“The government immediately deployed security operatives to guard the premises of the Ministry overnight to protect its assets.
“We have successfully evacuated these vital documents to a safe location to ensure their integrity and in readiness for a probe.
“Government will ensure that it uncovers the details surrounding the project and its execution and also assure that all those culpable are brought to justice.
“We will do right by Edo people as always and work assiduously to ensure that our people get value for our money as regards the execution of the N30 billion stormwater project.”