The Ondo State government has concluded plans to purchase vehicles worth N390 million for members of the state House of Assembly.
Although the government did not state the brand of cars to be bought and the unit price of the vehicles, it confirmed that it would purchase 26 units of vehicles for the lawmakers.
However, the budget approved by the lawmakers for the 2017 fiscal year, showed that the 26 vehicles meant for the 26 lawmakers would cost the state a total of N390 million.
The budget details did not include the unit cost of each vehicle, but if taken that the vehicles would be of the same brands, models and cost, then each unit would cost N15million.
This is not inclusive of official vehicles for the Speaker and the Deputy of the house, which bear a total sum of N80million.
The 2017 budget approved by the lawmakers and signed into law by Rotimi Akeredolu, also has a provision for the purchase of pilot vehicles and escorts vehicles for the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker with a total sum of N48million.
The budget specified that each set of pilot and escort would cost N24million.
It was however not clear if the state government would also be executing the purchase of a vehicle for the assembly’s Director of Budget, Research and Statistics along with those of the lawmakers, which has the sum of N10 million earmarked for it.
If the other vehicles for the principal officers are to be purchased alongside the 26 the commissioner said, then at least N518 million will be spent on the vehicles.
Addressing journalists after the state executive council meeting on Thursday in Akure, the Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinteriwa, along with his counterparts in Information & Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi; Physical Planning and Urban Development, Solagbade Amodeni and Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Lola Fagbemi said that Council had “decided to acquire the 26 vehicles for all members of the State House of Assembly.”
Besides the vehicles, the state government also reached a decision to raise a matching fund of N3.9 billion to be able to access the funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC) for revamping the education sector in the state.
Mr. Akinterinwa stated that the council reached a decision to access the UBEC fund, which the state had not been able to access for the past four years.
“We have been able to raise the required counterpart fund of N3.9 billion, which would attract another N3.9 billion from UBEC at the national level,” he said.
“The fund is meant to help tremendously, in the improvement of our educational infrastructure and would as well, enhance the quality of education of our students when fully put in place in the state.”
Also speaking at the briefing, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Amodeni, said, the state government had approved the lifting of the embargo on development along Arakale road corridors.
“As you are all aware, Arakale road has been dualised and commissioned. Before now, embargo has been placed on development along its corridors,” he explained.
“Surprisingly many buildings have sprang up along the corridor without approvals. Owners of these buildings will have to submit their various plans for approval along with their integrity test approval.
“In addition, every other building which government had earlier paid compensations for and has been reconstructed along the corridors, will be demolished, and any structure erected in the areas not approved, will also be demolished.”
Mr. Amodeni added that trucks would no longer be allowed to offload or load goods between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. in order to create sanity along the ever busy road.
The commissioner noted that offloading of wares into warehouses and into stores would henceforth begin from 8 p.m. and terminate by 6 a. m., adding that the minimum building approved for Arakale corridor is henceforth two plots, becauseit is the commercial nerve of the city.
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