…As Work Begins On Secretariat Buildings Abandoned For 12 Years
*Says New College of Agriculture’ll Take Off This Year
The Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said that his administration has put in place processes to ensure that all projects abandoned by previous administrations are completed for public use, in the bid to put to an end the ugly trend of abandoned project in the state.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, at the inspection of construction work at the two office buildings that had been abandoned for 12 years at the state secretariat complex, during his on-the-spot assessment and inspection of major projects sites across the state, Fayemi however, said the move to complete all projects that were started by previous administrations would not stop him from completing projects that were conceived by his administration within available resources.
He said the need to stop wastage of public fund associated with abandoned projects necessitated the passage of the transition law which forbids new administrations from abandoning projects of the previous administration in the state.
Accompanied by his deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, the Commissioner for Work;, Mr Sola Adebayo; the Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi and other top government officials, Fayemi visited road and building projects including: Agbado-Ode-Omuo road; Igbemo-Ire-Ilupeju road; Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi road; Ado-Iyin road; College of Agriculture and Technology, Isan Ekiti; Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, FUOYE, internal road project; state Secretariat Phase 5 Lots 1 and 2 buildings; House of Assembly chambers and the Assembly Commission buildings; the ultra-modern civic centre and Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital,EKSUTH, internal road project.
The governor expressed his satisfaction at the pace and quality of work being done by the various contractors, adding that the contractors were working hard to deliver the projects within the time frame given to them.
While reiterating that the abandoned secretariat building and some of the road projects abandoned by previous administrations would be completed and commissioned for public use, because they were all product of the taxes paid by the citizens which must be put to proper use, Fayemi averred that it was wrong for any administration to abandon projects that were embarked on by previous administration only to embark on new ones.
He said, “That we are completing this secretariat buildings that have been abandoned for 12 years in addition to newly conceived projects does not mean we have all the money. We just have to be prudent in the management of the little resources we have in order to make life more comfortable for our people.
“This secretariat buildings, when completed, would provide more office space for our workers, just as the new roads we are constructing will enhance road safety and allow free passage of goods. The 1,000 kilometers of rural roads which we plan to do will also ensure agriculture products get to the market on time.
“There is no magic about this and our people should know that it is the money they pay as taxes that we are putting to proper use to ensure good life for them. So, I encourage them to keep paying their taxes so we can do more.”
Allaying fears in some quarters that the massive construction going on in the state may hamper the regular payment of workers’ salaries, the governor said, “We were not elected to pay salaries alone. We were elected to ensure better life for all the people of the state and infrastructure development of the state is very important to this administration, just as regular payment salaries of workers as well as their welfare are important to us.
“We shall continue to pay workers and pensioners regularly and still ensure that the state does not lag behind in the area of infrastructure, qualitative education, excellent health care delivery and general wellbeing of the people.”
He observed that the contractors were adhering strictly to specifications and standards given to them, adding, “I could see the drain in Igbemo/Ire/Ilupeju axis, I could also see the work going on here at the Secretariat. This is a building that has been abandoned for more than 12years and the integrity is still solid. From what the contractor just said they will be able to meet up with the time line.
“A lot of work is going on around and I think it is important for our people, the citizens of Ekiti to know that this is a government that is working very hard to honour the promises we made to our people, it is not the easiest of circumstances for us, because sometime there is misconception that when a government is building roads, constructing buildings, offering free education, it is because there is so much money for government to embark on that since there were governments that didn’t do that and at the same time didn’t pay salary and nothing happened.
“But I think it is important for our people to know that we are doing this because we believe that they deserve better and that Ekiti is not just returning to comity of State but to be a leader in governance and project execution.
“You will recall that we don’t want abandoned projects; that is why we went to the House of Assembly and requested that a law be put in place to ensure that projects are no longer abandoned in the State.
“It is important that our people know that even as limited as resources available to us are, we will not shirk in our responsibility in providing necessary infrastructure for the state.”
He also urged the people of the state to do everything within their own power to live up to their obligation, by ensuring that they pay their taxes regularly.
The governor said that the School of Agriculture would resume for studies later this year, adding that the school management was making use of a temporary site to prepare the ground for the actual commencement of academic work in the main campus later this year.