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World Bank project: Commissioner denies Makinde’s interference in contract award process

Akinwale Aboluwade
Mr. Akinola Ojo, Commissioner for Finance in Oyo State has denied reports by some online platforms that Governor Seyi Makinde interfered with the contract award process of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project.
Contrary to the media report on the allegation, Ojo said the state government followed due process in the award of the World Bank-sponsored IUMFP.
The commissioner, who also oversees the project, stated that Governor Makinde is a man with eyes for details, who always insist on due process and value for money in all instances.
“It is an obvious concoction, an unfounded lie, and a news story aimed at tarnishing the image of the amiable governor and raising undue dust about a state that is diligently delivering on the mandate of IUMFP,” Ojo said.
Ojo, who spoke during an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday, added that the state government and the World Bank were not at loggerheads over the project as due process is being strictly followed. According to him, it was unfortunate that some media houses misrepresented facts and figures in an attempt to drag the project into unnecessary controversy.
He said, “Everything published especially (by some online news platforms) on the IUMFP project amounts to lies. The process is still ongoing, and I assure you that when the process is completed, the state will be vindicated.”
He also debunked allegation that the lowest bidder was not being considered for the contract on the ground that the lowest bidder is not a guarantee of value for money and capacity to deliver on terms.
“That someone is the lowest bidder doesn’t guarantee value for money. What we need is good quality work that will enhance the service delivery of IUMFP,” he said.
Some online news platforms, had last week, alleged that some untoward activities could stall the implementation of the $200m World Bank-sponsored Ibadan Urban Flood Management project.
A Non Governmental Organisation, the Ibadan Ko’ya anti-corruption coalition, had in a statement published by some news outfits raised the alarm that the state was on the verge of losing the $200million World Bank-sponsored project as a result of what it called underhand dealings.
However, the Oyo State Commissioner for Finance said on Monday that the claims contained in the media reports were unfounded and amounted to raising undue alarm, adding that the state and the World Bank are on the same page in the implementation of the project.
“The IUFMP management had independently appointed qualified assessors to review the bids for the Second Pool of works, with the contractors being assessed and the state only approving the recommendations made by the assessment and thereafter sending them to the World Bank for No Objection.
“Contrary to the insinuations contained in the recent media reports about the World Bank-sponsored project under the IUMFP, there is no threat whatsoever, as the process is still ongoing. We are certain that when the process is completed, we will be vindicated,” Ojo said.
The Project Coordinator, IUFMP, Dayo Ayorinde, said the claims made in the said report was false and unfounded, adding that it negates the reality of the situation in the bidding process of the contract as well as the process of engaging contractors for the second pool of works at the IUFMP.
 Ayorinde said, “To the best of our knowledge, there was no query to the state government from the World Bank. The bidding process for the contract is on course. The two parties involved (the Oyo State Government and the World Bank) are positively engaging the Bid Evaluation Report through the PIU, and the process is within schedule.

“The slightest explanation that one could give to this unfortunate story is that it is the ploy of mischief makers, who probably because of certain misgivings, wanted to throw a spanner in the wheels of progress in Oyo State.”

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