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Edo takes over road project, orders arrest of contractor for poor execution

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Edo State Government has taken over the construction of the Lawani Crescent Federal Constituency Road project in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.

Gov approves gunboats, others for the security of waterways

Edo State Government, yesterday, took over the construction of Lawani Crescent Road project in Igarra, Akoko-Edo Council over alleged poor execution and ordered the arrest of the contractor for what it described as “a shoddy job.”

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This followed a viral video online exposing the poorly executed Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency Road project, said to have been attracted by Peter Akpatason, who represents the area in the House of Representatives through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

During an inspection of the project, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who represented Governor Godwin Obaseki, said the state had maintained a high standard in the execution of road projects, describing the project in Akoko-Edo as substandard.

While ordering the arrest of the contractor handling the project, he urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to commence an investigation and invite the facilitator of the contract to explain his role in the execution of the project.

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“The Edo State Government, through the Edo-SEEFOR, is taking over the reconstruction of the road immediately. The job has been revoked. The National Assembly allocated N360m for Akoko-Edo constituency projects this year. We would investigate all that to ensure that we have value for money,” he stated.

On his part, the Project Coordinator of Edo-SEEFOR, Toju Onaiwu, said: “We have been directed to rehabilitate the road. The drainage is in bad shape and needs to be reconstructed. The asphalting work has also failed and we will do the needful.”

But reacting to the development, Akpatason said the video was intended to malign and discredit his reputation and that it was a complete falsehood aimed at deceiving the people for political purposes.

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“The job was awarded by the Department of Rural Development of the Ministry of Agriculture to a contractor and was given a clean bill of quantity. The boy in the viral video showed two major portions, one on the drainage leading to a slope, which is not part of the job,” he said.

Akpatason had in a letter to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and dated July 5, 2021, drew attention to the video and called for an investigation.

MEANWHILE, Obaseki has approved the procurement of four armoured boats (double 200 HP Engine) and four W23 Speed Boats (Single 200HP Engine), as part of measures to boost security on the state’s waterways and protect the life and property of Edo people.

A statement issued by Permanent Secretary, Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), James Ufumwen, disclosed that the procurement of the boats was aimed at curbing crime along with the coastal areas and waterways.

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