The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the N30 billion Benin stormwater project by the previous administration in the state was a ploy to defraud Edo people.
The governor made the submission while inspecting the Textile Mill Road catchment of the project, in Benin City.
He said the stormwater project, which was conceived by the previous administration, was designed not to work for the benefit of Edo people, adding that his administration will probe the project and recover all the money stolen through it.
“You can see for yourself that the so-called stormwater project was a fraud; it was a contract to defraud Edo people. From what I can see now, the stormwater project in this catchment area was never designed to take water away from the area. The area was never drained. You can see the level of what we are doing now as compared with that of the previous administration,” he said.
Obaseki noted, “It is almost two-meter difference. There is no way you can drain water from a low land into a higher ground. We say we have experts and paid over N30 billion for this project. The person that supervised this project today calls himself a minister supervising bigger projects for the Federal Government. This is not acceptable.”
He added that the previous administration spent huge sums of money on the water storm project claiming that on completion, it will drain water from the area and restore the property of Edo people living in that area.
He assured Edo people that his administration will do everything necessary to drain the area and restore life to the people, noting, “They spent N30 billion claiming that they want to take away the suffering of Edo people, de-flood the area and restore value to the people’s property. Look at what has happened now to this project for five years.”
He continued: “With what we have done now with less amount of money, we are going to finally drain this area and bring back life to the people in this catchment area. I don’t like probing but this time we have to set up a panel to get the facts of what happened. We can’t throw away such a large amount of money. People must be made to account for their time in service in government.
“They have to explain to us how they spent the N30 billion on a project they claim will drain water from a community. But the project drains the water to nowhere. They have the boldness to claim that we abandoned the project which were never made or designed to work in the first place.
“Clearly, we will take the necessary precaution to recover all the money due to Edo people that was stolen from this project.”