How Gov Lalong Terminated N59billion Legacy Project Contracts Over Contractors Refusal To Share Money -Plateau PDP Alleges
The attention of the Plateau State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has been drawn to a corrupt and shameful practice of Governor Simon Lalong’s administration in terminating the contract for the much talked about legacy projects.
Documents at the disposal of our great party shows a contract was signed between the state government through the ministry of Finance and Abuja-based Bleneson Services Nigeria Limited for the construction of 20 Lalong legacy projects( 8 no. Model Primary Schools, 6no. Model Secondary Schools and 6 no. Model Hospitals in Plateau State at a whooping principal sum of fifty_ nine billion naira(#59B).
The letter of contract termination, dated 9th March 2021, was signed by Sani Alhaji Yahaya, permanent secretary/ secretary of State tenders board on behalf of the state and addressed to the Managing Director of Bleneson Services Nig Ltd, Engr Lawson Ngoa.
As a responsible and focused political party that is prepared to re-set the leadership philosophy of plateau state, we find reasons for this action as an embarrassment to the office of the executive Governor of our dear state therefore it is appropriate we declare our stand on this sad development, particularly as it directly affects the future of the state.
It will be recalled that in 2015 when Governor Lalong came onboard he inherited ongoing projects initiated by PDP leadership which were mostly between 70 to 80 percent completion. To our greatest dismay and disappointment, some up to this moment have remained unattended or included in the so-called legacy projects for completion, but they are abandoned despite their relevance to plateau people while very few have been manageably done.
In order to cover his incompetence and nonperformance, he quickly initiated what he calls the “legacy project” and he deliberately abandoned meaningful ongoing projects.
As a party, we believe that governance is a continuum and we believe in any project that will impact the lives of our dear citizens. Even as we welcome the idea of his legacy project more so that it came as a world bank intervention, it is sad and shocking that today, Governor Lalong has revoked this contract awarded to BLENESON SERVICE NIGERIA LIMITED.
The unfortunate and reliable information reaching us states that the revocation and suspension of the legacy project are a result of the contractors’ refusal to share a certain percentage of public funds to some interested individuals within the cycle of power. It’s instructive to note that the contractor came with good intention to work for the progress of plateau people but unfortunately he was faced with corrupt leadership to contend with.
Let the Government make public reasons for revoking the contract if there are no skeletons in the cupboard.
The Peoples Democratic Party is however not surprised with Governor Lalong’s attitude having known him as an abysmal failure who has never shown seriousness in leadership, it is no longer news that Lalongs leadership lacks credibility, accountability, and transparency in discharging its responsibility.
The Governor and the APC have become a nightmare and deceptive to plateau people. With this rising lies and fraudulent acts against the people, it is evident that the APC has emptied the state treasury thereby mortgaging the state.
With this unequaled executive rascality, the question that comes to mind and must be answered by the plateau state government is that… When will Governor Lalong complete and commission his most cherished “legacy project” with just two years to go and now that the contractor is in court seeking amongst other reliefs, a nullification of the letter of termination of the contract dated 9th march 2021.
This promises to be endless and protracted litigation which is a booby trap to be used as an excuse for abandoning the projects after billions of naira has been pumped into it.
Meanwhile, the irredeemable standing payment order for the funding of the Lalongs legacy projects as evidenced by the contract agreement, which is for a duration of seven (7) years commencing from 2018, a period exceeding beyond the lifespan of the Lalongs administration.
We, therefore, demand that Governor Lalong should come out and explain to Plateau people how and when he intends to complete and commission these projects because he is accountable to Plateau people and the people have the right to know how their funds are being utilized because, from the inception of Lalongs administration, it was clear that both Lalong and his party know too well that they had no plans to complete any projects, projects are only conceived as a conduit pipe for siphoning precious public funds belonging to the people of plateau state.
Finally, we ask ….now that the contract has been revoked and the legacy project suspended on greedy excuses what happens to the projects? Another abandonment while in office?
Meanwhile, we sympathize with Governor Lalong and his political household over the collapsed agreement with most of his contractors particularly those he personally brought to handle his “special project” which legacy project was awarded at the cost of #59 billion with a huge sum of over 30 billion Naira already released.
John T Akans ksm FICA JP.
State Publicity Secretary,PDP Plateau State