Adeleke probes $106m Ilesa water project, suspends consultant
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has ordered full investigation into the decade-long $106 million Ilesa water project.
Governor Adeleke also ordered the immediate suspension of the project consultant, Engineer Tawa Williams, a former Special Assistant to former governor, Rauf Aregbesola.Aregbesola had, during the inauguration of the N48.7 billion water project in December 2017, disclosed that the project will be completed in 24 months and that the 60,000 cubic metres will supply water to Ilesa towns and its environs.However, five years after, the project, according to a statement by the spokesperson to Governor Adeleke, Olawale Rasheed, despite reported disbursement of N10 billion and another $28 million, has not shown any commensurate development.
The governor’s directive was sequel to the interim report of the State’s Assets Recovery Committee chaired by Dr Basiru Salami.
The committee made recommendations for immediate action to stop further squandering of loans secured to execute the water project.
He frowned at the large scale corruption reflected in the handling of the loans and the project, an action he regretted has denied people of Ilesa and environs of drinkable water.
“My administration will dig into this matter with all seriousness. The huge fund in question are loans to be repaid.
“We have a sacred duty to ensure accountability and transparency in the handling of the fund and the project,” Senator Adeleke affirmed.
According to the interim report of Salami-led committee, the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, agreed to fund the project to the tune of $65 million while the Federal Government provided $41.94 million.
It noted that “So far, a total of $27.073 million has been expended from the IDB loan of $65 million, leaving a balance of the sum of $37.926 million.
“However, from the Federal Government loan of $41.94 million, which the consultant had converted to N12 billion, N10 billion had been purportedly spent on the project, leaving a balance of N2 billion.”
The governor also, in line with the recommendation of the committee, suspended the project coordinator to allow for unhindered review of the loan administration, while the consultant was directed to return to government the N70 million bullet proof jeep in her possession.
Meanwhile, Governor Adeleke has also disbanded the state’s mining Joint Task Force (JTF) effective immediately.