In efforts to encourage participation, Ogun State government has announced plans to give indigenous contractors preference over the ‘big ones’ in the award of contracts for the construction of 171 rural roads in the state.
The government had advertised in five national dailies its intention to construct 171 rural roads and 25 semi-urban roads across the State identifying three roads in each of the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Olamilekan Adegbite, an architect through a statement by the Head of media in the Ministry, Mr. Ayokunle Ewuoso, was quoted to have said that government would not stop the ‘big contractors’ from applying for the contracts.
“Presently, there are so many contractors that are working for us including indigenous companies. Look at the present jobs where we have requested for Bids for the construction of the 171 rural roads and 25 Semi-Urban roads, deliberately we are saying they should be indigenous contractors in all these rural roads, while we are not stopping the big contractors not to apply, we are saying let our focus be on indigenous contractors in the 171 rural roads we want to do.” he said.
Adegbite who stated that the present administration has revolutionalized the infrastructural sector of the economy pointed out that ‘’before any road would be considered for construction, government would have seen that it’s a road that will maximally benefit everybody’’.
While reacting to the accusation that government was more concern in the construction of federal roads at the detriment of State roads, the Commissioner noted that government had constructed several State roads across the length and breadth of the State, adding that though hierarchy had always been considered on issues of roads construction.
“There is hierarchy when you are doing roads. The one that benefits most, that is the spine (major roads), are the ones you will do first. We are not claiming that government ends with this administration. Government is continuum. If past administration had been doing this, we would have found something else to do.”
He assured that all the roads constructed by the government were designed to last for 30 years and above, adding that the State government had written the Federal Ministry of Works on the needs for it to cede some of these roads.
By Ijeoma Nwachukwu