Wednesday, January 20, 2016

N11bn MKO Airport Allegation: Aregbesola aide attacks PDP, denies project inflation

The Government of Osun has denied the reports attributed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that it has inflated the MKO Abiola airport project in Ido Osun by N11 Billion, describing it as “another confirmation of the fact that the PDP suffers from hallucination that is causing it wild imagination and delusions.”

ITRealms reports that the government said allegation is absurd, according to the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, insisting that the allegation of inflating the contract sum of the Moshood Abiola International Airport from N4.5bn to N15.5bn, is a fiction and not a fact.

He also pointed out that the said contract under the former administration of PDP more than six years ago, was reviewed from N3,967,085,161.38 to N7,512,615,918.06 stating that this alone is enough to puncture the PDP’s fabrications.

“To every reasonable critic, if a contact was reviewed to N7.5 billion as far back as 2010 to the knowledge of the Presidency and the Ministry of Aviation, does it not make sense to consider exchange rates and other factors that could be responsible for the upward review of the contract? 

“But we know that PDP can only survive on lies. However, we are consoled by the fact that its lies of 16 years are in the open. Its leaders are singing at the corridors of the anti-graft agencies and it is a matter of time before those who got contracts and never executed them but have used the ill-gotten funds to intimidate the people of our state come to judgment as well just like their cohorts who are now guests of the EFCC and inmates in some of Nigerian prisons.” 

Noting that the Aregbesola administration has no problem with constructive criticism from opposition, it explained that "the Job of the opposition is not to concoct lies but to provide strong criticism  spiced with concrete facts".

He held that it must be placed on record that the state’s airport project is in line with the realities of airport construction in Nigeria, citing the examples of Kebbi Airport that was built at an approximate sum of N17 billion and Bauchi's N13 billion built about two years ago.

The director noted that the aviation industry is changing worldwide, adding that an airport is not just about transporting air passengers alone but key in the movement of cargo.

Emphasising that the MKO Abiola International Airport under construction in Osun is being built with huge economic benefits to the state in mind adding that the provision for an hanger for aircraft maintenance is part of the strategies to boost the Osun economy. 

He added that it was not of no importance when the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) called on states in Nigeria to enhance the movement of cargoes and passengers to accelerate economic development.

Chuks Egbuna/GEE

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