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Makinde vows to recover looted funds from former State officials, flag off airport road construction

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to retrieving looted funds from officials of the previous administration.

The governor, who made the vow while kickstarting the construction of the 21km Ajia-Airport-New Ife Expressway road, in Ajia town, said that his administration was ready to put measures in place to retrieve all looted funds to develop the state’s infrastructure.

The 21-kilometre Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road, with spur to Amuloko, was awarded to Messrs Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd, at a total cost of Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Twenty Million, Nine Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira, Forty-One Kobo (N8,520,919,776. 41).

According to the governor, unlike the previous government, which, he said, preoccupied itself with how to corner state’s funds on a daily basis, his administration would drastically reduce the infrastructure deficit in the state within the shortest possible time.

He added that it’s only in doing so that the state can be positioned on the path of economic growth.

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A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the 21-kilometre road construction being launched was a product of the administration’s strategic way of reducing the state’s infrastructure deficit, which is known as the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA).

He said: “Our administration means business. We will drastically reduce the infrastructure deficit in Oyo State in the shortest possible time. And this is how economies work: investors will only go where they can be assured of profits.

If we do not develop basic infrastructure like roads, it will affect the cost of production which, in turn, means less profit for investors. So, we cannot be seriously discussing attracting investments into Oyo State when a majority of roads and other infrastructure are in a state of disrepair.

“In order to achieve this, we must strategize on how to increase our spending on infrastructure, because what we collect from Abuja every month from federal allocation is not even enough to pay the salaries.

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So, the new strategies on how to increase our spending on infrastructure is what we are doing here in Oyo State.”

While explaining the reason the Airport-Ajia road costs more per kilometre than the 65 kilometre Moniya-Iseyin road, the governor said there are more hydraulic structures on the Airport-Ajia road than the Moniya-Iseyin road, and that a lot of expansion and rehabilitation will be done on those bridges.

The governor also used the opportunity to explain the APFA approach through which he said many projects will be executed in the state, noting that it is the administration’s way of funding some infrastructural projects in the state, by having the contractors fund the projects with their own money while the state repays them over a period of time.

“What this entails is that the contractor carries the projects’ risk. At the same time, we get quality delivery and quick completion of projects.

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“They will be bearing the risk of getting this project done in a timely manner, while we pay them over the next twenty-nine months.

“That comes down to roughly N300 million a month. So, while they will complete the project in one year, we have the option to repay in over twice the time.

“We will continue to actualise capital projects through budgetary allocations and have the additional option of carrying out other infrastructural projects outside of the budget, using the Alternative Project Funding Approach.

“Let me state that even when we are forced to look outside Oyo State for persons to execute the projects under APFA, we still put the interests of our people first. For example, Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd has agreed that the construction labour will come from Oyo State, and we are holding them to that agreement”, he added.

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