Press Release: Light Up Kwara project is another way of preparing pensions for Ahmed, Saraki and others

Date: 2016-12-18

The Joint Action Against Corruption in Kwara (JAACK) said the street lighting project by Ahmed administration aiming 3,000 poles within the state capital is another conduit through which its proponents intend to derive undue benefits after office.

The group in a statement issued in Ilorin on Thursday by its Organising Secretary, Joe Mahmud said "with the intensity of pressure the government is mounting on the public to accept the programme shows that there are more to it than meet the ordinary eyes".

"The government in all its advocacies on the street lighting project has failed to mention the name of the company that will undertake a project that will gulp a whopping N6bn from the taxpayers' money payable in 10 years.

"Our investigation revealed that the government is planning through a surrogate-company to guarantee a bank loan that is 'interest free'. The surrogate-company will undertake the technical and financial aspects of the job while Kwara State government will guarantee the facility.

" As it was stated by government, the street lighting project with its solar panels placed in strategic areas in the metropolis like bus stops will be completed within 12 months.

"The actual cost of buying the solar component, installation and execution of the whole project is far less than N6bn as against what the government has fed the public with. What is supposed to be the interest is what is placed above the cost of doing the job which will be shared by all stakeholders privy to the deal over 10 years.

" This will eventually provide a pool for the serving governor, his god father and others to draw money over a period of 10 years. This can best be described as their pensions!".

The statement stated that the event of the recent past has made it difficult to trust this government on any deal.

"The same way former Governor Bukola Saraki brought in ejected Zimbabweans into Kwara; provided them with land and guaranteed loans for their use from Nigerian commercial banks while chasing away the natives.

" The street lighting is unpopular, fraudulent and another way of plunging the state into avoidable debts. Our investment in Kwara now should be in agriculture, education, road construction and rehabilitation to meet the lacuna created by this government and her predecessor."

The statement further queried the rationale behind the bond between the Senate President and the state government that made them to embark on similar projects at the same time.

"What benefit would the bond between Dr. Bukola Saraki and the state government confer on the state? About the time the state government announced her acquisition of the state of the earth asphalt plant; Saraki announced the rehabilitation of roads in Ilorin. Later, Saraki promised N1.1bn street light project in the same area the state government will spend another N6bn. Who is fooling who?", the statement concluded .

Joe Mahmud
Organising Secretary,
Thursday 15th December, 2016

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