OGUN DENIES DEMOLITION OF N1BN ASPHALT PLANT
Ogun State Government yesterday faulted the allegation leveled against it by Bi-Courtney Highway Services Ltd. (BCHSL) that Governor Ibikunle Amosun led a squad to stop the installation a $6.5 million (about N1 billion) asphalt plant the company bought for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project.
Speaking with newsmen in Sagamu inter-change area of the state, the Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Architect Olumiluwa Adegbite said the company merely wanted to hide under such allegation to save its face from Nigerians, two years after it was given concession by the Federal Government to reconstruct the road.
Challenging the company to come out with document of land acquisition from the state government, Adegbite said the company was given six weeks to make a payment of N70 million on the land and write a letter of acceptance, pointing out that the company refused to comply.
He explained that the land Bi-Courtney was laying claims to was earmarked by the state government to build a trailer park in to avert traffic snarl and its associated vices and frequent road carnages claiming lives on regular basis.
'In the letter, it was expressly stated that if the conditions stated were alright by them, the sum of money to be paid amounted to N75million and the total came to 75million, it was stated in the letter that if they accept this offer, they should write a letter of acceptance and Bi-Courtney neither wrote a letter or paid the money and what they told me was that the land was never allocated to them.
'We did not demolish anything here. We are all for this road, 80 percent of the road lies in Ogun State, so we will like to partner with Bi-Courtney to fix the road, so if Bi-Courtney does what is proper, that is, approach the government for land, of course we will allocate land for them but they need to do what is needful and we would definitely oblige them,' he added.
In a swift reaction to the state government's claims on the issue , Bi- Courtney's Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Dipo Kehinde said the state government was bent on frustrating the company from executing the project.
He said it was shocking that a state government that was supposed to support current effort at alleviating the sufferings of road users, could be so petty and could brazenly tell lies, only to deny it in less than 24 hours.
He said: 'We are committed to completing the palliative measures in due time. We only appeal to Nigerians to help us beg Governor Amosun, not to use his powers to rob long suffering Nigerians of the benefit of a world class road that we are out to build.
'As we said before, it is people like Governor Amosun, who had been retarding progress on that road, sponsoring people on the Right of Way to sue us, thereby causing distractions. There are 55 cases in court now, how do we deliver in this kind of environment.'
He accused the state government of perjury for saying there was no asphalt plant in their site , saying, 'here we have the plant and the people installing it, this is a brand new asphalt plant, installation is on, the Chinese can tell you, you can see the pillars.'
The legal officer to the construction company, Mr. Olugbenga Odubote said the company would be heading for court in a matter of days to seek redress on the matter.