Following the controversy surrounding the Odo-Ona Elewe road which involves Hon. Tolulope Akande Sadipe (Representative of Oluyole Federal Constituency), Federal Roads Management Agency (FERMA) among others, the former has faulted the budgeting process for the construction of the road.
Hon. Tolulope Akande Sadipe revealed this while addressing the controversy surrounding the construction of the road when featured on a radio program in Ibadan, on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020.
According to her, “The road was awarded by FERMA, all I did was to ensure that whatever that’s been put in the budget was implemented. When I was told that they had assigned the job to a contractor and the contractor was going to site, I tweeted it and I said it on social media that we are flagging off the construction of the road. Only for the road to be finished and my constituents complained to me, which I immediately wrote to FERMA.
“When I wrote to FERMA, the FERMA Director, Engr. Balogun now went on the show and said I didn’t write to him, he has since apologized and I have since forgiven that error on his part as he claimed it was his people that did not give him the right information.
“I have met with FERMA and the community. FERMA has explained where the area of the problem came in saying it was supposed to be rehabilitation not construction, that the money put in the budget for it was not adequate to finish the job. I have now insisted that FERMA needs to do better than that. The last time I communicated, the contractor had not been paid because I wrote a petition to FERMA in Abuja. Because of it, the contractor has not been paid.
“We went on recess, we have all just come back, and then I will follow up to find out what has transpired between the time I left….the last time I spoke to Mr Balogun before I left, he flew to Abuja to talk to them at FERMA to see if they could also continue the work on the road with direct labour. On the other hand, I’m also trying on how to get the road back into this year’s budget, where I have more oversight. That road is a key road to my constituency.”
Speaking further, she said, “You see, if I could take my money out of my pocket and go there today to start building the road, I would do it. But you know I do not have that kind of means, I have to rely on either the state or federal government. And where I can assist in the little things like grading but that road is beyond grading.
“In the budgeting process itself, there’s already a problem as what was in the budget didn’t commensurate with the work on site. I’ve requested for the bill of quantities and I’ve handed it over to engineers to see what was written there and what has actually been done on the road.”
Refuting the claims that she misappropriated the funds meant for the road, she said, “What they were trying to insinuate was that I had colluded and taken the money for the project. Oluyole, I have never stolen anything that belongs to you and I don’t intend to steal anything that belongs to you.
“The reason why I am here as an HoR member is because I want to prove to Nigerians that things can be done and can be done properly.”
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