Kabirat Olaniyan, a civil servant in Oyo State, was beside herself with joy when she eventually became a homeowner. After many years of working, she could finally afford her own house.
“I was happy (when I moved into the house). I bought the land in 2015 and we packed there in 2017,” she said.
But three years later, Mrs Olaniyan’s excitement on moving into her own home at the Federal Housing Estate in Eruwa, a hilly town outside Ibadan, has been dampened. She said the poor state of the roads in the housing estate is a major source of concern to her. She fears that lack of drainage has put her house in direct collision with floodwater and that her house is at risk of being swept away, if nothing is urgently done.
“I feel very sad. As you can see, the erosion is getting to the front of my house already. Soon, it will eat the house. The government should help us balance their work. It is already spoiling our house and we can’t do it. We don’t have money,” she said.
The construction of roads in the Federal Housing Estate, Eruwa was selected in 2019 by Sunday Adepoju, a former representative of Ibarapa East/Ido in the Federal House of Representatives. The N65 million project was domiciled under the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Agency (OORBDA) for the year.
Status of the Project
When this reporter visited the housing estate, she found that a section of the main road in the estate had been graded but the rest of the road had been abandoned. Also, only a section of the drainage was constructed. Flood water has washed away the unconstructed part of the road leaving deep gullies on its surface.
Mrs Olaniyan said the state of the road has been bad for homeowners. She said prospective tenants are avoiding the areas because of the road and that her grocery business was failing as customers have shunned the community.
She said work done on the road before it was abandoned has been washed away the flood.
“See my house, see my shop. They just used the one they did to spoil everywhere. We don’t have any power; we are begging them. We can’t bring a car to the house at all.”
Wole Akanbi, a tenant in one of the low-cost houses in the estate, blamed the absence of drainages for the erosion.
“It is because of the heavy rainfall and water gushing from the drainage that caused erosion. Even if they did not grade the road, they are supposed to finish the drainage that they started. The drainage that they did not finish is what spoilt the road.
“Nothing was wrong with the road before. Even this one that they did to this place, it was because the community rioted and went to the police station, that’s why they did it to this place. They said they cannot do more than that because the government has not released the funds. Whether true or not, nobody knows. In fact, the project is not well done. They said money is the issue.”
“As it is now, it is not good to see. Cars usually manage to pass this place because of erosion. Two cars cannot pass at the same time and even one car has to have a good driver to pass. It does not look fine. If EFCC is the language they will understand, so be it o,” Mr Akanbi said.
“They started and stopped suddenly. We don’t know why they stopped. I can’t remember the month they started but it was this year. In fact, our road was very good before they said they want to tar it. Now that they have abandoned it, the rain has spoilt all they did, and the road has spoilt.”
“As a motorcycle rider, the erosion is affecting me. If you go down there, the erosion is affecting the house that is there. They caused problem by starting and later stopping,” said another resident who described himself of Baba Ibeji. He refused to give his real name for fear of being victimised.
The chairman of the landlords’ association, Babatunde Mustapha, said the contractor told him that work was stopped because adequate money was not allocated for the project.
“Engineer Tony” is the person in charge of the road construction. He said, “I called Engineer Tony and he said that there is no money left. They have endangered our lives here. The ground has broken and opened. When it first opened, we called some Hausa workers to help us fill it, but it still opened again.”
“There is no way to stop erosion until there is a proper channel for the water to pass. The water must find its way by force. You can see how it is. We usually pray that rain should quickly fall during the day and not in the night, so that we can know what to do in case bad things happen,” he concluded.
Only N35 million was released – agency
In response to a letter sent to OORBDA, a letter signed by the managing director, Olufemi Odumosu, said only N35 million of the N65 million budgeted for the construction of the road was released. That translates to just 53.8 per cent of the amount budgeted.
Favouritism in the allocation of solar streetlights
Also, in 2019, Sunday Adepoju nominated the provision of solar streetlights at the Federal Housing Estate, Eruwa. The project was budgeted at N13.5 million (N13,476,190) and supervised by OORBDA..
At the entrance of the estate, five solar lights were strategically positioned. Further down the estate, three other solar lights were erected around the compound of the former lawmaker, Mr Adepoju. Also, on the streetlights were printed “COURTESY: HON. SUNDAY ADEPOJU A.K.A OMOYIN”
Residents also expressed displeasure over the streetlights that were installed near the former lawmaker’s home.
“They have completed the solar work because I am the one that monitored them when they were doing it. I don’t know the number requested for, but they put eight solars here. As you can see, Omoyin put his name on the solars and even put three around his compound. Go and check the rest of the estate, they did not put any solar there” said Mr Akanbi.
An official letter released by the agency also revealed that N6,738,095 was released for the provision of solar lights instead of the budgeted N13, 476,190.
The agency also revealed that it budgeted 17 solar lights but installed only 10 solar lights due to inadequate funding. The letter read “General Hospital – 1 No; Operation Burst Office – 1 No; Federal Housing Estate – 7 Nos; Ahunko Market Square – 1 No”.
The agency also noted that the project is “ongoing”.