The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said his decision to probe the N30 billion Benin Water Storm Project awarded by his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, is due to the massive fraud in the contract.
Obaseki stated this in Benin at a reception in honour of Chief Dan Orbih, who was recently elected National Vice Chairman, South-South, People Democratic Party (PDP).
Obaseki said the money he raised for the development of the state was frittered away by some persons.
“As the then chairman of the State Economic Team, I believed Edo must develop. So, I sacrificed my time for eight years raising funds from the capital market and the World Bank to develop the state but the money was frittered away by some persons.”
“Yes, I was part of that administration, but with what I have seen in the books, I look like a fool. While I was arranging finances and other things for the government, I didn’t realise that the money I was raising for the state was being frittered away. People must be held accountable.
“I don’t like probing, but it has become very difficult because when I look at the contracts that I have awarded in 2020, and the cost of awarding the contracts, when I compare them to the ones awarded 10 years earlier, people have questions to answer.
“The truth must be told, Edo people must know how they awarded 200 million dollar contract 10 years ago with every amount paid but it is yet to be completed,” he said.
According to him, qualified engineers and other professionals will be invited to carry out the assessment of the projects, lamenting that the Benin Water Storm project designed to deflood the city has created more flood.
“I wasn’t the one that talked about hospital, they went and started making videos on social media accusing me of something I did not do. So I set up a panel to know what really happened and now the panel has told what happened, now they are trying to stop us from taking action according to reports,” he said.
He said it is callous for those who did something wrong relating to the Benin Storm Water Project to accuse him of abandoning the project, saying “they have been reporting us from one palace to the other on what they did wrong”.
“As custodian of the state resource, when we finish our tenure, we are ready for others to probe us, government money is supposed to be for the benefit of the people. People must be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
On the 2023 presidency, Obaseki said the South-South region must be allowed to produce the next president.
He said the region was cheated as it has not completed its two terms as president.
“Presidency must come back to South-South and you (Orbih) must go round the country to let them know that we can’t be cheated. We expect you will deliver the presidency to the zone.”