Chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) Hon. Sam Erejuwa on Tuesday 21st June began the fulfilment of his promise to prioritize the welfare of the people of the mandate areas with the official handing over of the construction of the abandoned General Hospital Agadagba-Obon to the Contractor, Cimar Valexim Nig. Limited.
The project was initially awarded in December 2010 to Cimar Valexim Nig. Limited during the first term of Dr Olusegun Mimiko’s administration at the rate of N236,497,936.61. Though the project was disrupted that time due to youth restiveness in the area, the Akeredolu led government however saw the need to revive the project.
At the inauguration of the new Board and during the Commission’s stakeholders meeting held at Williams Event Centre Igbokoda early this year, the Chairman, Hon. Sam Erejuwa promised the people of the mandate areas that the General Hospital Agadagba-Obon is one of his star projects that will be delivered before the end of this current administration. This he said informed the re-awarding of the contract at the estimated total cost of N336,925,609.91.
While paying homage to the traditional ruler of Arogbo Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Pere Zaccheaus Doubra Egbunu (JP) Opukutu III, the Agadagba of Arogbo Ibe, Erejuwa disclosed that the construction of the long-abandoned hospital is the first project his administration will be embarking on considering the importance of people’s health.
According to Erejuwa, “I came to this palace 12 years ago while aspiring to represent the Ilaje/ Ese-Odo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly. Coincidentally, this project has been abandoned for exactly twelve (12) years. Our coming today is therefore historical. I made a promise during the stakeholders meeting held on 31st March this year that by the grace of God, we will complete this hospital”.
“Though there is paucity of fund in the Commission, the economy of the state, the country and the world at large is in recession, but be assured that we have the political will and the support of our amiable Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN to make the completion of this project a reality and to commission it before the completion of his tenure”.
Erejuwa stressed that he was born and brought up in the Niger Delta region of the state, therefore he is conversant with the problems of the people of the area, especially as it relates to access to functional health service. This he said spurred him and his Board to make the construction of the hospital a priority.
The Chairman also hinted that in demonstration of the Commission’s readiness and commitment to the project, the contractors have resumed work and solar panels have been installed to light up the environment.
He however appealed to the members of the community, most especially the youths to achieve this monumental achievement by giving the contractor the needed cooperation. Erejuwa said: “ We want our youths to know this is their own project. I am appealing to them to jealously own, guide and protect this project as well as the contractor. You need to be their friend as this project is for the benefit of everyone, including those yet unborn. Abandoned projects are waste to the economy of a state. Today, on behalf of the Governor, Board and Management of OSOPADEC, I promise you that this project will not be abandoned again but will be completed in due time to the glory of God and service of mankind.
While responding, the paramount ruler of Arogbo Ijaw Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty Pere Zaccheaus Doubra Ebgunu (JP), Opukutu III, the Agadagba of Arogbo Ibe, welcomed the Chairman, Board and Management of the Commission. He affirmed that Hon. Sam Erejuwa is a son of the Kingdom who understands the problems of the coastal areas. He decried the low level of development in his kingdom but expressed hope that his people and the community will soon receive succor.
According the revered monarch “the non-access to medical facility is a typical scenario and recurring decimal. And since I became the Agadagba of this Kingdom, I have always cried out on the need to complete our General hospital and the construction of an overhead bridge. But I am confident we will get there in stages. I know there is paucity of fund, and all our desires cannot be met at once, but what is happening today is a cheering news. We want to thank you for fulfilling your promise”.
The Agadagba on behalf of his people appreciated the State Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, the Chairman and the Commission, assuring them of maximum protection for the project which is for the benefit of Arogbo Kingdom. He said anyone who interferes or interrupts the project will be seen as an enemy of the Kingdom and will be treated accordingly.
At the construction site, the project was symbolically handed over for construction, supervision and protection. The Director Project Monitoring and Evaluation Engr. Allen Eregha, while kicking off the handing over ceremony praised the Chairman and the Board for their timely intervention. He handed over the project to the Commission’s Secretary Dr. Victor Koledoye, who in turn transmitted to the Chairman Hon. Sam Erejuwa, while he handed over to the Project Architect, Cimar Valexim Nig. Ltd, Arch. Iheanacho Innocent.
Reacting on behalf of Cimar Valexim Nig. Limited, Iheanacho Innocent expressed great delight that the event which had hitherto been a mirage is now a reality. He particularly appreciated Hon. Sam Erejuwa for his immense encouragement, and promised not to disappoint the people as long as there is security for workers and the assurance that funds will be released promptly.
Speaking on behalf of the Imperial Majesty and the entire people of Arogbo Ijaw Kingdom, High Chief Loko Sola Ajatei, Secretary of the traditional council, and High Chief Ebi Molus (Youth Representative) appreciated the Governor, the Chairman, Board and Management of OSOPADEC for the developmental feat. They promised to provide an enabling environment for the contractors to function without any hindrance.
In their goodwill messages, the Chairperson of Ese-Odo Local Government, Mrs Folawe Omowumi Sipasi, together with the Commissioner representing Ese-Odo on the Board of OSOPADEC, Hon. Agabra Ikoto Atili expressed their joy as the health facility when completed will bring a great relief to the young, old and pregnant women in the local government.
In a similar vein, the Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Victor Koledoye on behalf of Ese-Odo local government, thanked the Chairman and Board for making the project achievable in his own territory. He expressed confidence in the determination of Hon. Sam Erejuwa led Board to propel monumental development in Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government areas of the state.
Present at the historic event were Chiefs, Community Leaders, Board members and top management staff of the Commission.