The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday explained how his predecessor, the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and his government spent a $200 million World Bank loan.
Makinde in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that claims that the state was about to lose a World Bank loan to the tune of $200 million were unfounded and a misrepresentation.
The spokesman for the governor described such reports as mischievous.
In the statement, Makinde's media aide said the governor had explained the issue surrounding the loan in detail when he recently featured on a television programme, “The Governor Explains”.
According to him, the governor explained that the total loan was $200 million and that before he came into office, the previous administration had already spent $50 million and also committed $100 million to projects. He said what was left $50 million, which the management of the project was trying to use to do some works.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, who supervises the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), which is managing the loan, had stated in a release on February 15 that the management of the project was following due process in awarding the last batch of contracts.
He also stated that the state government and the World Bank were not at loggerheads over the project, adding that due process was strictly being followed.
Ojo also stated that it was unfortunate that some media houses misrepresented facts and figures to drag the project into unnecessary controversy.
A coordinator of the project, Dayo Ayorinde, had equally said that the claims that the state would lose the said funds were unfounded, adding that the report was false in its entirety.
“It negates the reality of the situation in the bidding process as well as the process of engaging contractors for the second pool of works at the IUFMP.
"To the best of our knowledge, there was no query to the state government from the World Bank. The bidding process is on course; the two parties involved (the Oyo State Government and the World Bank) are positively engaging the Bid Evaluation Report (BER) through the PIU, and the process is within schedule," the coordinator had said in the statement made public in February.