Why I revoked N7bn Moniya-Iseyin road contract – Makinde

Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has revoked the N7 billion Moniya-Iseyin Road contract awarded by Sen. Abiola Ajimobi’s administration, pointing out the contractor’s lack of capacity as main reason for the revocation.

Makinde made this known in Ibadan on Tuesday while speaking at the launch of a $5 million (N1.53 billion) Agribusiness Project Initiative by Farmcrowdy.

According to him, the previous government awarded the contract to an engineering firm that did not have capacity to handle the project.

“Even though the owner of the firm is known to me, I cannot mix friendship with the business of governance,’’ he said.

The governor said the contract was revoked to enable him address the challenges of moving farm produce around the state, saying that the state government would go ahead to re-award the contract.

He said the road would address the challenges of moving farm produce from Oke Ogun area to Ibadan, the state capital, when it is completed.

According to Makinde, the state is set to turn farm settlements around in line with my administration’s promise to expand the state’s economy through agribusiness.

While inaugurating the Farmcrowdy initiative, the governor expressed confidence that it is a partnership that will be mutually beneficial.

Makinde said the state government was fully committed to revolutionising agriculture, saying that his administration had begun the steps toward revamping and expanding the economy of the state.

Earlier, Dr Debo Akande, the Executive Adviser to Gov. Makinde on Agribusiness, said that agribusiness would take the centre stage in the state.

Akande noted that the state would explore the Public Private Development Partnership model to achieve its aim in the  agricultural sector.

He maintained that bringing Farmcrowdy to Oyo State was a thing of pride to the present government.

“One thing that is very sure is that if you follow the trend of what has been happening in the agriculture sector, when farmers engage themselves in production and they cannot sell, they will get discouraged.

“What we are trying to do is that we want to ensure that when farmers produce, there is market for them.

“Market determines production. So we will ensure that those who want to buy get value,’’ Akande said.

The Managing Director of Farmcrowdy, Kenneth Obiajulu, said “through crowd-funding, Farmcrowdy has been able to impact 25,000 farmers and worked in 14 states out of 36’’.

Obiajulu noted that the initiative was launched as a partnership on agriculture to help move the state forward.

Mr Kenton Dashiell, the Deputy Director-General of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Partnership for Development, expressed IITA’s readiness to partner with Farmcrowdy in promoting agribusiness in the state.

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