Amosun expends N300bn on roads, bridges, others in seven years – INVESTIGATION

Ifedayo Ogunyemi

The Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration has so far spent about N300 billion on the construction of bridges and roads which fall under rural and infrastructural development mantra of the governor since he assumed office in 2011, statistics available to PLATFORM TIMES have shown.

PLATFORM TIMES observed that the expenditure of the whopping sum could not be far from the drive of the governor to ‘rebuild the state’.

The governor had few years ago in the presence of the state lawmakers said, “in the pursuit of the rural investment drive of our administration, we shall ensure infrastructural development within the rural communities and small towns with a view to uplifting the economic, social, commercial and employment generation activities in the rural areas of the state.

“Specifically, we will construct or rehabilitate at least two key roads in each local government area within the state.”

Efforts by PLATFORM TIMES to get the clean copies of the budget approved by the state assembly proved abortive. But from data available to PLATFORM TIMES, N1,599.9 trillion was proposed as the budget for the seven fiscal years under review.

Budget proposals sent by the governor to the State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi show that N223.4 billion was allocated to 8the rural and infrastructure development/employment generation, one of the cardinal programmes of the governor for five years alone – 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

PLATFORM TIMES could not ascertain how much was allocated for the rural and infrastructure development/employment in 2012 and 2015 from the data available. However, PLATFORM TIMES believes the allocation would not be less than N30b for each year.

For the 2013 fiscal year, Amosun presented a total sum of N211.86 billion as appropriation bill as against N200.55bn for the year 2012.

Amosun who presented the bill tagged ‘Budget for Sustainable Growth’ at the state House of Assembly at the Oke-Mosan House of Assembly Complex said that rural and infrastructure development would take N39.92 bn, which is 18.70 per cent, thereby standing as the second largest consuming sector of the budget.

While, on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, Amosun presented a proposed budget of N210.21bn for the 2014 fiscal year; which is N1.57bn less than last year’s budget.

Amosun explained that the 2014 budget comprised N117.51bn Capital Expenditure which represents 55.90 per cent and N92.70bn Recurrent expenditure, accounting for the balance of 44.10 per cent.

Rural and Infrastructural Development/Employment Generation was assigned N34.6bn, which amounts to 16.49 per cent of 2014 budget.

PLATFORM TIMES, however, could confirm that the 2014 approved budget was N210.28bn.

Subsequently for the 2015 fiscal year, Amosun presented to the state house of assembly a budget of N210.354 billion which was slightly higher than the proposed budget of 2014 which stands at N210.21bn and approved 2014 budget at N210.28bn.

PLATFORM TIMES could also confirm that budget for the 2015 fiscal year tagged ‘Budget of Continuity’, N210.35bn was approved by the state assembly and signed by Governor Amosun. From the approved budget, Recurrent Expenditure stands at N92.09bn representing 44% of the budget, whilst Capital Expenditure was N118.26bn, representing 56%.

For the approved 2015 budget, N99.35bn was expected from Internally Generated Revenue and N53.00 bn from the Federation Account. The Capital Receipts were expected to be N58.00bn. while as at 31st October 2015, the overall budget performance was 55.8%.

While reviewing the performance of the budget for the Rural & Infrastructural Development / Employment Generation programme at the state assembly on Tuesday, 24th November 2015, Amosun said paucity of funds greatly affected the pace of road construction in the year and reconstruction of markets that paved the way for these roads. He however assured that contractors had returned to sites with the expectation that many of the roads will be completed the following year.

Amosun also said the government allocated about 120 hectares of land to Lafarge Africa in the State Forest Reserve for a special forestry project under which about 10 million trees will be planted, starting with 2 million trees in the first phase. This will, in turn, create more job opportunities for our youths.

For the ‘Budget of Opmitisation’ of 2016 presented to the state assembly on Tuesday, 24th November, 2015, Governor Amosun said the N200.27bn budget proposal for the 2016 financial year reflected the government resolve to minimize costs and maximize capacity to generate revenues.

The budget proposal also showed that Capital Expenditure would stand at N99,29bn representing 49.6% while Recurrent Expenditure would stand at N100,98bn representing 50.4% – Personnel Cost at N72,34bn representing 36.1% (Salaries & Allowances at N61,34bn representing 30.6% and Pension & Gratuities at N11bn representing 5.5%) and Overhead Cost at N28,6bn representing 14.3%.

Amosun noted that great emphasis which was laid on capital expenditure during the first term was now shifted a little to make the budget for 2016 balanced between capital and recurrent expenditure.

He said Rural & Infrastructural Development/Employment Generation in the 2016 budget which gulped N31.1 bn representing 15.50% of the 2016 budget was to allow the completion of the following road projects; OGTV/Brewery Road (8.7km), Ojere–AdatanRoad (9km), Ejirin/Oluwalogbon Road (9km), Sagamu Benin Express/Oba Erinwole (7km), Ilo-Awela Road (7.6km), Lafenwa – AyetoroRoad (34km), Ilisan– Ago-Iwoye Road (26km), MoshoodAbiola Way (6.1km), Ikangba/Ilese/Imusin/Ife/Itele/Ogbere(45km), Ilara/Ijohun/Ilase Road (110km), Ofada/Mowe/Ibafo Road (29km), Papalanto/Ilaro Fed Poly Road (22.7km), Atan-Agbara/Lusada-Igbesa/AlapotiRoad (37.65km), Sango/Ijoko/Ojodu-Abiodun road (43km), LafenwaEnugada-Adatan Road (7km), Magboro Underpass (12km).

Flyovers and Bridges to be completed in 2016 also included Flyover Bridge at Iyana Mortuary (0.48km), Flyover Bridge at Ijebu-Igbo/Obada Market (0.40km), Bridge Over River AbuleEkun (0.4km), Bridge Over River Yakoyo (0.45km), Flyover Bridge at Ilaro, Flyover Bridge at Lusada Junction (48km), Flyover at Itoku, Flyover at Sapon, Flyover at Oju Ore, Ota, Butterfly Flyover at the old tollgate, Ota, Butterfly Flyover at Ojodu-Berger, Flyover at Lafenwa, Idiroko – Ipokia Bridge, Afon Bridge – Imeko, Odo-Afa Bridge –Imeko.

Amosun also said the “state government will vigorously pursue the implementation of its Light Rail project connecting major towns in the three (3) Senatorial Districts.

“The Government intends to commence the design and construction of a viable asphalt plant in the year 2016 to make asphalt readily accessible and also reduce the cost of road construction works being embarked upon by the Government,” he said.

Also, the governor presented a budget proposal of N221.129 billion for 2017 to the Ogun House of Assembly for approval with the increase of over N21 billion compared to the 2016 budget.

The governor who christened the bill ‘Budget of Repositioning’ gave Rural and Infrastructure Development /Employment Generation N44.2 bn.

Furthermore, in the 2018 ‘Budget of Accelerated Development’ of N345.4 bn which represents an increase of 57 per cent over the N221.12 bn budgeted for 2017, Rural and Infrastructure Development/Employment Generation sector gulped N73.606 bn.

While presenting the budget on Tuesday, 21st of November, 2017, Amosun said the budget would be funded largely through IGR. The target revenue which consisted of the IGR and proceeds from the Federation Account was put at N197.258 billion representing 57.10% of total funding.

According to the state government website, it lists the landmarks it has achieved in terms of infrastructure and rural development/employment generation in the state to include; a well-developed physical & telecommunications infrastructure, including an extensive network of trunk roads and easy access to ports and airports; provision of potable water and hygiene training to rural communities with a smaller population of 1-5000 people in the state in conjunction with the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and Unilever Global Fund; partnership with GIZ, the German Agency for International Co-operation to develop a mini-grid rural electrification scheme at Gbamugbamu in Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Others include energisation of 800 KVA transformer at Idowa; investment in Ode Omu infrastructural project through provision of 2 solar borehole schemes, rural electrification of the community and construction of earth roads and drains; rapid population growth in Ogun State, as well as an upsurge in the rural to urban migration, has led to additional pressure on the general infrastructure in urban areas; good road network in the capital city – Abeokuta, to improve access and attract investors to the state.

The improved road network in the rural areas and outside the capital city, to improve access to markets for rural dwellers and attract investors; residential Complex at Omida, Itoku Kampala and Olori- Eku; signing of a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the proposed Light Rail Project with Messers CRCC/CCECC and commenced the preliminary work on Olokola free Trade Zone

While speaking during the inspection of construction of flyover and health station in Ijebu Igbo as well as the over 22km Ogijo-Ikorodu road earlier this year, Amosun assured the people of the state that his administration would complete all ongoing projects before the end of his tenure as governor.

The governor added that some of the road constructions including Igbesa and Atan-Agbara roads would be under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), adding that a law would soon be put in place to encourage companies operating in the state to support government efforts aimed at rebuilding the state.

Members of the state assembly including the majority leader, Adeyinka Mafe, Ganiyu Oyedeji from Ifo 2 and Julianah Akintayo from Yewa South among others said they were impressed by the infrastructural drive and commitment of the administration. They said the roads would ease vehicular and human movements which will contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the state.

Consequently, Amosun who had launched the ‘Mission to Rebuild’ the State in 2011 claimed the efforts of the state government were to attract investors into the state.

It is generally believed that this has paid off, considering that the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils declared that Ogun State alone attracted 75% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Nigeria.

PLATFORM TIMES understands that industries in the state have risen to 452 with more than a hundred established during the current administration.

Clarifying this during the unveiling of the 2018 Investors’ Forum held in Abeokuta, Amosun said, “although we have mentioned that 304 investors have entered Ogun since we got to power, but I usually, clarify that those that have invested in excess of $200m are now 148 or so because it is everyday people are coming in. Those that have invested in excess of $50m also makes the 304-plus that we have mentioned.

“When we came in 2011, Ogun State was what we would call a partial civil service state. In fact, I think it was my predecessor that pushed it to the partial state because it used to be a civil service state.

“We have now got out of that appellation of being a civil servant state, we are now the industrial giant of Nigeria and in the West Africa sub-region.

“What we want to do is to make it beyond what we have. We are not the capital of Nigeria yet but I am proud to say we are the industrial hub of Nigeria. Since we came and launched our mission to rebuild in our state, you know we have been working every day, Ogun state is now out of the dungeon.”

Amosun maintained that all these achievements in the industrial sector of the state would not have been achieved if the infrastructural development and security of the lives of people and property in the state were not put into consideration by the government.

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