Kogi State Government of Nigeria
OUR REACTION TO THE VIDEOS RELEASED BY SENATOR DINO MELAYE ON THE GANAJA FLYOVER PROJECT AND THE BIOFUEL ETHANOL PROJECT IN KOGI STATE
The attention of the Kogi State Government has been drawn to two videos, allegedly released and circulated by Senator Dino Melaye to the effect that Governor Yahaya Bello awarded and paid in full for a contract to construct Flyover at Ganaja Junction within the Lokoja Township. He further alleged that the contract was not executed, alleging that the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello had committed fraud.
The second video was an orchestrated plan by Senator Dino Melaye to pitch the good people of Kogi West and Kogi Central against each other by alleging that a Biofuels Ethanol Project slated for Alape in Kogi West has been moved to Governor Yahaya Bello’s Okene LGA in Kogi Central.
We would have ignored the videos as another tantrum of the comical Senator who is notorious for baiting ethnic/ religious sentiments and spreading fake stories for political capital, but we owe the good people of Kogi State, on whose trust we hold the commonwealth of the State, explanations in line with the character of our administration of transparency and accountability.
The Ganaja Fly Over Story
The Senator set out with a blatant lie by claiming the contract was awarded by Governor Yahaya Bello. To set the records straight, the contract was awarded by the immediate past administration of Captain Idris Ichala Wada to TEC Engineering Nigeria Limited at a total contract sum of N4.6bn less than a month before he left office.
After raising the initial certificates, the Kogi State Government paid the sum of 1.86 billion Naira to the company which started casting beams for the flyover at their Yard in Lokoja.
However, the State Executive Council later determined to prioritise the more pressing infrastructure needs of some communities in the State. Accordingly, through a Resolution to that effect, Council approved for the company to use the already released funds by way of virement to handle some other projects which would have more direct impact on a larger number of our people. Some of these projects are:
1. Ankpa Township Road.
2. Idah – Anyigba Road.
3. Mount Patti Road.
Each of the projects above were also captured by the corresponding budget in line with fiscal regulations. Some of the projects, like the Ankpa Township Roads have been completed while others are in advanced stages of completion.
While the Flyover Project itself has not been jettisoned, in view of its huge cost outlay there is need to review the funding parameters before commencing full-fledged construction to avoid creating an abandoned project which would worsen a bad traffic situation indefinitely. Moreover, the project is on a Federal Road which presents its own unique set of challenges.
It must be noted that the virement option and selection of the alternative projects to which the funds were applied followed due process and was done with due approval of the State Executive Council of the State.
While Senator Dino Melaye meant mischief, he inadvertently highlighted the commitment of Gov. Yahaya Bello to due process and probity in this matter. In his usual unholy hurry to indict an administration which constantly outbraves his malice, he helped us display relevant documents for this transaction to the public, down to receipts of payment from the contractor.
The Biofuel Ethanol Project
The second video alleges dishonest relocation of the Biofuel Ethanol Project from Alape,Kabba/Bunu Local Government of Kogi West Senatorial District to Okene Local Government of Central Senatorial District and is as unfortunate and misleading as the first one. Alape was earmarked for the Staple Crop Processing Zone, which covers 5 Local Government Areas, and was to initially incorporate the Biofuels Ethanol Project as a component. The State Government has no plans to move the Zone and even the Ethanol Project from Alape. What the State Government has done is to request for the duplication of the project to cover other areas such as Osara, Ajaokuta and Bassa. So, instead of siting the project only in Alape, Kogi State Government had sought to tap into the economies of scale benefits provided by the water bodies at Osara and other locations.
Apart from the natural and infrastructural suitability of also having the Ethanol Biofuels project at Osara, the administration is also keen to meet the yearnings of our people for fairness in the spread of developmental projects across the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
It should be noted that contrary to Senator Dino Melaye’s false alarms on marginalisation, the largest agricultural investment in Kogi State under the present administration is the Rice Mill project at Ejiba in Yagba West Local Government Area. It is a 50 tonnes per day rice mill practically ready for commissioning. Yagba West is in Kogi West, Senator Melaye’s Senatorial Zone. In fact, a stone’s throw from his home LGA of Ijumu. For good measure, the State government also cultivated 800 hectares of rice in the vicinity of the mill this year, providing jobs and multiple income opportunities for the Senator’s constituents.
We are however not surprised at Senator Melaye’s usual commotions. He is the archetypal gluttonous hunter carrying a whole elephant carcass on his head but who, on his way home, will still be driven by unbridled avarice to chase after a cricket for meat.
The State Government is yet to receive an official letter from the NNPC or other investors conveying their decisions on the Biofuels Ethanol Project which is a Public Private Partnership initiative. Thus, only Senator Melaye can explain the source and veracity of the strange letters he shared in his video on this matter.
His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State remains committed and undeterred in his sworn objective to implement his New Direction Blueprint objective of ‘proportional and accelerated development of Kogi State in all her constituencies.’ Apart from the Ethanol Project, the State Government is working to establish 10 Cassava Colonies across the State with 4 in the East, 4 in the West and 2 in the Central. This is aimed at sustaining our position as the biggest Cassava producer in Nigeria.
We urge Senator Dino Melaye to fact-check our claims and apologize to the good people of Kogi State for demarketing the State so viciously and so consistently for his own political gains. Although we know him to be infamously lacking in introspection, mostly acting at pleasure and regretting at leisure, we urge him to take this demand seriously.
While we are not happy to see him jump from moving police vans and grovel on the ground at busy interchanges, or climb trees on the way to court or sleep on dirt floors rather than face the consequences of his misdeeds like a man, we shall still be forced to involve the law within 7 days of this publication should he fail to publicly retract these lies and apologize to the Government of Kogi State.
It is important to also inform the Senator that his attempts to besmear the sparkling white robes of His Excellency’s reputation with the palm oil of his own baseness have forever failed. For as long as the Governor has done nothing but break the stranglehold of former oppressors on the jugular of Kogi State, all his attempts to subvert the administration will always come to naught.
Director General of Media and Publicity to the Governor