GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says the state Government has secured a N5.7 billion facility from the World Bank to tackle the erosion problem at Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.
The Governor said the facility was secured by the government after the state was abandoned to its fate by the Federal Government which refused to release funds to the state from the Ecological Fund to address erosion problems in many parts of the state.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Auchi-Jattu-Afashio-Ikabigbo-Ojio road on Thursday, Oshiomhole said, “Erosion has been a problem that has been threatening the existence of Auchi as a community. Not only has erosion destroyed the farmlands, erosion has also destroyed a number of roads and even killed a number of our people.
“A series of petitions have been written to the Federal Government for intervention. I know on an occasion the Royal Highness, the Otaru of Auchi, decided to lead the Auchi community on a protest march and he demonstrated around this area hoping that somebody would listen.
“There was an attempt to address the erosion problem but whereas the people of Auchi wanted a solution, somebody wanted to monetize the problem. They gave the job to a contractor who knows next to nothing and he brought a tractor which he himself could not reclaim from the valleys of the erosion
“I am happy to announce to your Royal Highness that we have redesigned and carried out a thorough study of the Auchi erosion challenge. We got internationally-recognized consultants to carry out the study and they have come up with a design which will provide a lasting solution to the problem of flooding in Auchi and on the basis of this study, we have forwarded it to Washington for them to look at it and to confirm if the design is appropriate.”
Oshiomhole said, “We have done our estimate and carried out a bill of engineering measurement. We advertised the project on the basis of those designs, contractors have bidded and rather than giving this thing to Adams Nigeria Limited as some other people would have done, we have awarded the contract to a competent company, Setraco Nigeria Limited.
“We have forwarded the results of these reports to Washington. You may ask why Washington? It is because we didn’t have any Federal help from the ecological funds but we are determined that the poverty of our pockets can be overcome with the resourcefulness of our brains. We have secured facilities of N5.7 billion to address the problem of Auchi erosion.
“Just last night, the World Bank wrote that our design has been given approval, it is acceptable and they have granted us a loan to address the erosion problem at Auchi.”
Speaking on the roads being commissioned, Oshiomhole said, “What we have tried to demonstrate is that the people are entitled to even development. Every part of Nigeria is entitled to benefit from development. I hold the view that when we derogatorily refer to people in rural areas, we do so as if the fact of their rural location makes them inferior relative to those who live in the urban sector.

Conrade Adams Oshiomhole
Conrade Adams Oshiomhole