…expresses satisfaction with progress of work on ongoing dualization of Ekehuan Road

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has vowed that his administration will recover taxpayers money wrongfully spent on the Benin Stormwater Project.

Obaseki gave the assurance while on an inspection tour of ongoing construction of New Lagos Road, Textile Mill Road, 2nd West Circular Road and Ekehuan Road, all in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The governor, who attributed the level of flooding in the area to the bad job done on the Benin Stormwater Project, said the project was not designed to drain water, as the discharge point was much higher than the level of the portion constructed to drain water, adding, “This is responsible for the flood experienced in the area.”

Obaseki noted: “They claim to have spent $200m under the guise of the Benin stormwater master plan, which you can see didn’t drain water; neither did they build the road. You recall that I said I am going to probe that contract, but wanted to convince myself that it was not a case of witch-hunt.

“But just coming here today to see the extent of work done, it’s clear that the contract under the Benin Stormwater Master Plan is not what it is and Edo people need to know how their money was spent: the project has not been completed 10 years after.

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“The most important thing to note is that the job cannot be completed without taking care of the drainage, as water destroys roads.”

“We have to subject this to thorough analysis and investigation, to enable us to recover taxpayers’ money wrongfully taken out of our treasury,” he added.

The governor continued: “At Evbareke Market, there is supposed to be a road and drainage. But 10 years after, nothing has happened. I promised the people in the area, during my electioneering campaign, that I am going to build the road, but I wanted to make sure that we are not spending money on projects that they have claimed to have completed.

“I am pleased with the pace of work by the contractor. You are standing on very huge underground drainage and it has been covered, as you will not know that there is an extensive drainage under it. They would have gone faster, but for the rain.”

On his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ferguson Enabulele, said the government plans to achieve about an 8km stretch of the entire length of Ekehuan Road before the end of the year.