11 October 2008

Nigeria: Oyo Govt Threatens to Sue Afenifere

OTUNBA Adebayo Alao-Akala led government yesterday threatened to sue the Yoruba Social Cultural Group, Afenifere for its comments that the state government awarded a contract of N9.36billion to a non-existent American firm.

According to the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Alhaji Mukaila Aborode who reacted on behalf of the government, the association got it wrong when it said the state government awarded contract to Seer Methodological Processing in Dallas instead of Zia Metallurgical Processing.

Re-affirming its stand that the government had nothing to hide, he directed whoever is interested to access Google and check Zia. This, would, prove to a large extent that the government is plain and would never play any hide and seek game on its activities in the state.

Fuming with anger, the commissioner asked if it was a sin to bring laudable idea that could move the state forward stressing that the rating of the state by the UNDP in 2001 as one of the dirtiest had been improved by the present government since it came on board.

He added that contrary to the thinking of Afenifere, the American firm would bring the money and invest it in converting heaps of refuse in the city into electricity.

He said, "We have adopted scientific method to rid the city of filth and to leave behind a kind of legacy that can stand the test of time. Since we came on board, we have tried our best to provide a kind of permanent scientific solution to the issue of waste management here as it is affecting Oyo State and most especially the city of Ibadan ."

According to him, the government has procured 20 Roll-on-Roll-on trucks to complement the efforts of the Ibadan Solid Waste Management Authority and about 1,580 cleaners have been recruited to maintain the roads.

"If you go round the city you will see our women sweeping and the city of Ibadan is wearing a new look because I assume duties as the commissioner in charge of the environment, the then ministry of environment was in comatose as a result of many years of dysfunctionality, he said.

Although, he is aware that the state is not where it ought to be, he expressed optimism that the state had exceeded 65 percent level of cleanliness.

His words, "We recognized the global environmental changes. We therefore need to align the state with global environmental challenges so we still have to do more. Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala recently approved the sum of N490m to procure another 20 unit of skip-pitters in our quest to keep the state beautiful and clean."

Explaining why he terminated the earlier contract awarded to a local investor, he pointed out that the excuse tendered by the company that the political instability in the state did not allow it to function as expected was not tenable and that before the decision was taken, he consulted the appropriate quarters.

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