Mr. Adewale Olaide, a federal lawmaker from Oyo state in what appears contract inflation that has helped undermine development in Nigerian has allegedly claimed to have constructed a mini town hall for N100 million as his constituency project.
This is even as five different civil engineers who spoke to MAWA Foundation say constructing a similar town hall averages between N10 million and N15 million and that includes payment for labour and furnishing.
Mr. Simon Egba, a civil engineer with over 24 years of experience who claims to have built many town halls and schools across Nigeria, says that amount is enough to construct and equip 10 town halls in different locations.
“It is unimaginable, how government officials in Nigeria lie and steal in the name of contract and project execution, how does one claim to have constructed a mini town hall for N100 million, this is ridiculous,” Egba said.
Worse still, Mr. Olaide is alleged to have constructed a single town hall at the price of N100 million.
Perfecting the deal, the lawmaker in 2021, nominated the construction of a town hall in Ibadan North Federal Constituency of Oyo State as part of his constituency project.
The Federal Government has since last year budgeted N100 million and released funds for the construction of a town hall that is the lawmaker’s constituency project.
The contract was awarded to Ihechi and Praise Limited, a company registered in 2015 with operational headquarters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city.
Worse still, despite the seemingly high cost of the project, Tracka, a public accountability organization that visited the project site, says the town hall was poorly constructed with substandard materials.
It is not, however, clear the kind of procurement process that was undertaken by the Oyo lawmaker that led to the construction of a mini-town hall at the cost of N100 million.
Mr. Olaide is not the only offender, often, government officials and private companies connive and divert huge sums of money using public project execution and procurement process as a cover.
Our experience in public accountability advocacy has shown that no place has monies been stolen from the Nigerian state like the procurement process for project executions.
Stealing monies using the procurement process has continued to be the practice in Nigeria, despite the existence of Public Procurement Act and Fiscal Responsibility Act that criminalize fraud in the procurement process in Nigeria.
MAWA Foundation could not immediately reach out to Mr. Olaide for an official response.