ENL Consortium Limited, the former contractor handling the Ibadan circular road project, has said the cancellation of the 32km East end wing of the 107km proposed road under the terms of a concession agreement dated August 25, by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is “a sad display of impunity and costly disregard for the sanctity of the law of contract.”
The contract, which is a concession agreement signed with Oyo State Government under the late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, was awarded at a sum of N67 billion on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis for 35 years.
However, Governor Seyi Makinde, recently terminated the contract and re-awarded it to another company, SEL-Vydra, explaining that the contract for the construction of 110km road for N138.2 billion was a better bargain for the people of the state than the 32km contract awarded by the immediate past administration.
He noted that at the cost of N138.2 billion for the entire 110km stretch of road, the state government saved about N100 billion.
But reacting to the cancellation via a statement issued by its Director of Corporate Communications, Chief Moyo Adewuyi, on Monday, ENL Consortium said Makinde announced with glee, the termination of the Ibadan circular road project and stopped the company from further construction.
The statement read in part: “Against the advice of legal pundits and intervention of right-thinking individuals, the Governor announced the re-award of the Ibadan Circular Road to a company, which was hurriedly registered on May 11, 2021 and which has no known record of performance in the construction industry.
“As a law-abiding corporate citizen with a credible record and reputation, ENL Consortium, which has spent almost N10 billion of its hard-earned money on the Ibadan Circular Road project will, through the instrumentality of the law, challenge and fight to a logical conclusion Governor Makinde’s lawless and reckless use of executive power, which is capable of sending wrong signals to and discouraging local, regional, sub- regional and international investors from doing business with Oyo State.
“The young governor should remember that no condition is permanent. A gubernatorial toga is not a licence for abuse of power and lawlessness. We have instructed our solicitors to commence legal action against the governor and the new concessionaire.
“The governor’s claim of making N100 billion for Oyo State from the re-award of the contract is a huge joke designed to hoodwink the enlightened people of the state. The false claim is good for its entertainment value and should be dismissed as such.
“Rather, he has incurred a huge debt and liability of N10.9 billion to the innocent taxpayers of Oyo State by his illegal and ill-conceived action.
“If it’s not propaganda (time will tell), then we congratulate Governor Makinde and the good people of Oyo State. Hope SEL-Vydra knows there’s N10.6 billion due to us before he can take over the site, otherwise SEL-Vydra should be prepared for serious legal battle. For the firm’s information, we spent N3.9 billion of the firm’s hard-earned money on the contract and 10 per cent of total cost of the contract is N6.7 billion, which is payment for infraction and unlawful termination of the contract. Nigeria is not a lawless country.”
The statement added that the circular road is a 32km virgin road that starts from the Lagos end (Technical University) and ends at the Badeku end (Asejire).