By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke has directed the immediate suspension of the project consultant for Ilesa water project, Mrs. Tawa Williams over questionable handling of $106million loan for the project.
Adeleke, in a statement by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, on Wednesday, also ordered full scale probe of the entire project and loans disbursed.
The state government alleged that there has been no progress on the project despite the reported disbursement of N10 billion and another $28 million.
The governor equally suspends the project coordinator to allow for unhindered review of the loan administration while the Consultant was directed to return to government the N70million bullet proof jeep in her possession.
Adeleke’s directive was sequel to the interim report of the state’s Assets Recovery Committee chaired by Dr Bashiru Salami which made recommendations for immediate action to stop further squandering of loans secured to execute the water project.
The governor, according to the statement, frowned at 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,” the governor was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Assets Recovery Committee had submitted an interim report which revealed an ongoing large scale pilfering of the procured loans while the project recorded no progress commensurate with reported expenditure.
According to the interim report, the Islamic Development Bank agreed to fund the project to the tune of $65 million while the Federal Government provided $41.94 million.
“So far, a total of $27.073 million has been expended from the IDB loan of $65 million, leaving a balance of $37.926 million. However, from the Federal Government loan of $41.94 million which the Consultant had converted to N12 billion, the sum of N10 billion had been purportedly spent on the project, leaving a balance of N2 billion,” the report stated.
The committee further noted that despite the huge amount already spent so far, the water project is not yet functional.