- Governor Makinde has reacted to the allegation that his undue influence made the World Bank cancel a flood management project in the state
- The governor who spoke through his media aide, Taiwo Adisa, described the allegation as false, adding that it was the handiwork of mischief makers
- Adisa explained the role his principal has played so far in the World Bank-backed project and also highlighted the part played by Makinde's predecessor
Ibadan, Oyo state - Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Oyo state governor, has described as untrue the claims that the World Bank-backed Ibadan Urban Flooding Management Project (IUFM) was cancelled as a result of the undue influence from him.
Legit.ng's regional reporter, Ridwan Kolawole, stated that the chief press secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, made the declaration while featuring on a radio programme in Ibadan on Thursday, August 12.
Adisa maintained that the governor neither influenced the contractors nor tried to influence the contract.
He stated that Governor Makinde should actually be commended for always insisting on value for Oyo state’s money.
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The governor’s media aide stated that the clear reason given by the World Bank for the cancellation of the project had to do with the timeline and the response of the state to the project.
He said some mischief makers deliberately tried "to twist the World Bank’s letter dated July 30, 2021, and signed by its Country Director for Nigeria, Western and Central African Region, Shubham Chaudhuri, stating that the World Bank’s letter even recognized Makinde’s unwavering support for the IUFMP project."
Adisa, who stated these while featuring on Fresh 105.9 FM’s Situation Room, declared that there was nowhere the World Bank accused Makinde of trying to unduly influence the contracts in the Second Pool of Long-Term Investments (PLT12) under the IUFMP.
“No, they are talking about the timeline, and the response by the state to the World Bank, has actually addressed that fully. So, there is no ulterior motive in the management of this project.”
Adisa noted that the World Bank had during a mid-term review expressed satisfaction with the governor’s value-for-money initiative which was introduced to ensure that the IUFMP continues to deliver excellent service to the people of the state.
He blamed those trying to paint the governor in bad colour over the cancellation of the second pool of the $200 million World Bank loan accessed by the immediate past government for the management of flooding in the state, saying they are being mischievous.
Adisa maintained that as part of the Makinde administration’s commitment to addressing urban flooding, the governor had asked for the expansion of the work plan to include the desilting of major rivers, including the Agodi Lake, which is a major source of flood in Ibadan.
"Governor Makinde did not influence the contracts; he did not influence the choosing of the contractors. There were issues in the past as to who got what in those projects.
"There are even issues as to what was delivered with the two-thirds of the $200 million loan already spent or committed by the past administration and what was delivered.
“If at all, the name of the governor should actually be on the right side of this story, because all he called for when he came on board was what I can refer to as a value-for-money initiative.
"Now, we are just awarding contracts for 45 streams. Where were those 45 streams with the two/third of the money spent? Who are the people getting what?
“For the World Bank, there was a time some of their officials came in for a mid-term review at the Secretariat and they were really satisfied with the initiative, which the governor is bringing in to ensure that the project will continue to deliver for the people of Oyo state."
The CPS equally cleared the air on the cancellation, stating that of the $200 million loan, the previous government had spent $50 million and committed about $100 million to several projects, leaving only $50 million to be accessed by the Makinde administration.
$26 billion funding cancelled - Report
Sahara Reporters reported that the World Bank cancelled the flood project and withdrew a $52 million (about N26 billion) funding.
The newspaper added the bank made the move over the state government’s failure to “meet the basic condition for the no objection for the three companies that emerged under the World Bank supervised bidding process since May 05, 2021, and the poor response time of the government to IUFMP activities which largely has affected the agency ability to perform effectively.”
It was gathered that the World Bank conveyed a letter to Governor Makinde, notifying him of the development.
Join politics if you want Nigeria to progress, Makinde urges clerics
In another report, Governor Makinde has said the business of politics is for all who are interested in national growth and development.
The governor said this on Sunday, August 8, while encouraging clerics of the Christ Revival Miracle Church, Ibadan, to join politics.
In his remark, Makinde noted that it is by participating actively in politics that citizens can get the set of leaders that will help them achieve their collective aspirations.