IKIRUN, OSUN STATE – (Communication Ministry Report) – The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu has assured the people of Osun State and Ikirun that the commissioning of the Aponjo Afo River Ikirun which held on Friday June 29, 2018 was in line with the Federal Government’s decision to ensure that no part of the country is neglected regarding the tackling of environmental problems.
Abdulkareem Adebayo Shittu mentioned that the project which is one of the eighteen Ecological Intervention Projects approved by Mr President for the first quarter of 2017 and awarded by the Ecological Fund Office Tenders Board (EFOTB) on 22nd of March, 2017 with a completion date of five months. He underscored the Federal Government’s concerted effort and sincerity of purpose in keeping faith with the promise.
Shittu stated that the project commissioning and handover must be commended as it will offer the community the opportunity to own the project and ensure its care, maintenance and sustainability. He called on the benefiting communities in their indigenous circles to see the project as their own and guard it jealously, in order to prevent the dumping of refuse in the constructed drainage channels.
The Communication Minister congratulated the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and his team at the Ecological Fund Office as well as the Project Contractor, Messrs Utendala Nigeria Limited and the Project Consultant, Messrs Fortera Nig Ltd for a job well done. He thanked the benefiting community for their cooperation in providing a peaceful environment which led to the successful completion of the project. He adjoined that they should consolidate the effort of the Federal Government by maintaining the project.
Speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary of the Ecological Fund Office, Habiba Lawal, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties, Bola Laditan stated that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention forwarded to the Ecological Fund Office by the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Oladapo Afolabi (Professor).
He stated that the request was to arrest the continuous erosion and flooding arising from the overflow of the APonjo-Afo River to Ikirun Town and to avoid further environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties arising from these.
The Permanent Secretary added that the timely completion of the project was attributed to the collaborative efforts of the contractor, consultant and the very close monitoring as well as prompt honouring of all contractual obligations by the Ecological Fund Office. She expressed her appreciation to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; the Minister of Communication; the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by the Deputy House Leader of Ifelodun Local Council, Opatola Rasheed Olajide as well as Lere Okunlola and the Royal Father, Oba Rauf Olawale Adedeji II.
Habiba Lawal in enlightening the benefiting community said that the essence of the commissioning and handover is to achieve a dual purpose of enabling the host community take over the project and ensure it’s maintenance and sustainability. She maintained that the resources which the Federal Government had committed to the Project will so doing not be wasted.
The Community Leader, Chief Oladele Babatunde highly commended the efforts of the Federal Government and testified that the project was a source of succour to the economy and welfare of the community.
In the same vein, the representative of the Governor corroborated the testimony of the community leader, stating that there was a heap of refuse at the project site which had become a menace to the community, hinting that Government’s intervention was a very welcome and much appreciated relief.