*Govt okays asphalt overlay for 32km Ilesha-Baruba-Gwanara Road
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s agenda to build a new economy in Kwara State got a major boost on Friday as the state Executive Council approved the construction of an information communication technology (ICT) innovation hub and Ilorin Visual Arts Centre, among other projects.
The approvals were given at the virtual SEC meeting at which cabinet members thoroughly debated and then approved the proposals for the innovation hub, the visual art centre, and the upgrade of the (inherited) 32 kilometre Ilesha-Baruba-Gwanara Road to asphalt overlay.
The cabinet approved the upgrade of the road at N265,412,446.50 to Messrs Duravil Engineering Ltd.
Commissioner for Works, Suleiman Rotimi Iliasu told the cabinet that surface dressing of the road was first awarded to the same firm in October 2013 at N1,560,102,954.58.
It was reviewed upward to N2,156,953,404.58 and N2,361,904,549.95 in 2015 and 2017 respectively. On May 15, 2019, two weeks to the end of the past administration, the surface dressing project was again revised upward to N2,782,716,900.95 reportedly owing to price fluctuations.
Iliasu said the new administration met an outstanding balance of N934,587,553.50 to be paid to the contractor, but has negotiated to have the road upgraded to asphalt overlay for longer lifespan at the rate of N265,412,446.50.
The commissioner said the upgrade of the road to asphalt would bring the total balance to be paid to the company to N1,200,000,000.00.
After listening to a presentation by Commissioner for Enterprise Abdulwahab Femi Agbaje which detailed the relevance of the project to the state as well as the ministerial tender processes already done, the SEC also awarded the construction of an expansive ICT hub at the cost of N1,350,390,734.10 to Omron Construction Engineering Company Limited for a duration of 52 weeks.
The innovation hub will create a unique space where hi-tech entrepreneurs, industries, researchers and investors could be brought together to create jobs and boost the state economy, Agbaje told the council, adding that the hub holds significant potentials for small and medium scale enterprises and startups in the north central region.