Contractor Abandons Building Of New Health Center In Akure After Lawmaker’s Death

In Breaking News, Investigation

By Alaba Adeyemi, Development News Nigeria

In 2019, Adedayo Omolafe who was representing Akure South and North Federal constituency in the House of Representatives nominated a project for the construction of a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Omoniyi Estate.

The project was part of the Zonal Intervention Projects for 2020 and was awarded to Ekpofe Integrated Service Limited for N14 million. Three years after the award, the contractor fled the site, Development News Nigeria (DNN) investigation revealed.

Located on the outskirts of Akure in Ondo State, Omoniyi Estate is tucked between the Owo-Ilesha express road and a stretch of mountain that has become a regular praying site for churches of diverse denominations. It has over 5,000 residents and the area lacks all basic infrastructure.

The project reference number is 2020ZIP1425, the supervising Ministry is the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) while the supervising Agency is the Border Community Development Agency (BCDA).

 If completed, the PHC would be the only government presence in the estate. The people were already looking forward to the day when the PHC would be opened for use but their dreams were cut short when Hon. Omolafe died in 2021.

DNN investigation further shows that since the lawmaker died, Ekpofe Integrated Service Limited has not done any work on the site, leaving the N14 million project to waste while the estate inhabitants hope for a miracle.

This reporter visited the site of the project last month and noticed that the environment was deserted with weeds growing around the building. The signpost describing the project and all the details had been removed and placed in a corner.

The PHC building has been built and roofed. The outer wall has been plastered but not painted. A black overhead tank was placed in front of the building for workers, showing that the water supply facility of the project had not been completed. The power supply components of the project have not also been done.

project have not also been done.
The abandoned Omoniyi Healthcare Centre project

Residents Hope For A Miracle

Residents of the estate poured their hearts out to DNN, and they confirmed that the contractor has not stepped foot on the site since the facilitator died. Some lamented about the pain the failure to complete the project has caused them, praying for an urgent intervention.

A commercial motorcycle rider, Mr. Tunde Ojo described their situation as “painful” and that if the facilitator had been alive, they would have been enjoying the facility.

According to him: “I believe if Adedayo Omolafe was alive, it would have been completed”. Continuing, he asked, “How can an area this big not have a PHC”.

On his part, Mr. David Ojo narrated how the community had waited for almost four years for the project to be completed.

He said: “We have waited for four years since I got here for the health center to be completed but the government didn’t do it. The nearest government hospital is far from us.”

He also pointed out that some residents of the area who had needed emergency medical attention had died due to the distance to the nearest facility. His words, “Some people have died, especially those who had health issues in the night”.

Top Official Urges Community Members To Take Action

Ekpofe Integrated Service Limited has its office address at 1816B Dapa Briye Street, off TY Danjuma Street Abuja. It was incorporated with the CAC in April 2017 and has the registration number RC 1408851.

The company which is a private company limited by shares has two shareholders and they are Eteng Itam Obono and Itam Itam Obono. They are both from Yakurr LGA in central Cross River State. DNN could not get the email address or direct phone number of Ekpofe Integrated Service Limited and they are not on social media.

The former Senior Legislative aide to the facilitator on Public Affairs, Mr. Kehinde Omoniyi was also not available when contacted. DNN then reached out to Prof. Francis Faduyile, Special Adviser on Health to the former Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. He sympathized with the members of the community on their plight.

Prof. Faduyile who is also a former National Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also advised them on the appropriate steps to take.

“Although the project is a federal project, the land belongs to the State. The State must have given it to Adedayo Omolafe to build. If it is now becoming a threat to the community, maybe because it’s occupied by miscreants or for other reasons, the community can write to the State Ministry of Works (lands) to retrieve the land, then the government can complete it and put it to use.”

This investigation is produced with support from Civic Media Lab.

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