The Transparency and Accountability Group (TAG), a group committed to holding government and its agents to the highest standards of probity, is by this release, demanding immediate stoppage of plans to construct a flyover at the Olaiya intersection.
We recall that the Osun State Government had in several statements cited cases of road accidents at the popular intersection as the reason it had decided to construct the flyover.
Subjecting this reason to deeper professional and socioeconomic intellection however, we have come to the conclusion that it is a needless expense for the State government at the moment and will amount to a waste of the state’s scarce resources. Our reasons are outlined below:
1. Olaiya Intersection is still at an excellent level of service. By simple principles of traffic engineering, a road intersection is considered incapable of handling its expected amount of traffic if the vehicle density at that intersection at a given time, exceeds permissible limits.
Having carefully observed the current level of service of the Olaiya intersection, we can say from a professional point of view that constructing a flyover is an overkill and a waste of State funds at best.
2. Reported accidents at the Olaiya Intersection are due to human errors. We are convinced that officials of the State Government under Alh. Gboyega Oyetola are aware that design capacity of a road notwithstanding, human errors still have limitless capacity to cause fatalities.
The reported accidents at Olaiya intersection have been due to impatience of drivers, racing to beat traffic signal time on one hand, and the periodic dysfunctionality of the traffic signal system at the intersection, on the other hand. Accidents at this intersection can be avoided if traffic rules are enforced strictly and the traffic signals made to function optimally.
3. Details of the Award of this project are shrouded in secrecy. The State’s Public Procurement Law 2015 makes certain provisions for Bidding and Award of projects in the State. Section 33(2) of this law particularly states that “In the case of goods, works and services valued under International
Competitive Bidding, the invitation for bids shall be advertised in at least two (2) national newspapers, one (1) relevant internationally recognized newspaper, the official website of the procuring entity, the Agency and the State Procurement
Journal not less than six weeks before the deadline for submission of the bids for the goods, works and services.”
The construction of the Olaiya flyover has not gone through these provisions of the procurement act to ensure transparency, judicious use of funds and competence. We therefore wonder why the State Government is in such a hurry to execute the project when it has not fulfilled all obligations that a contract of such nature must undergo. Our laws cannot be vacated at will even in cases of expediency.
4. Olaiya flyover is not an infrastructural priority for the State Government We say with absolute clarity that the Olaiya intersection is not an infrastructural priority for the Osun State Government, even if all contractual obligations were met.
For example, the dualization of *Oke Fia/Rasco/Old Garage* road is a more pressing project, the road having served beyond its design capacity. Expansion and reconstruction (dualization possibly) of the *Ilesa Garage/Ita Olokan/Oja Oba/Orisumbare* road is also a more pressing project that would serve greater purposes than the Olaiya flyover. We could go on and on, mentioning projects of more strategic importance than the Olaiya flyover.
1. That the Osun State government stops with immediate effect, the plans to construct a flyover at the Olaiya intersection, failure to do which we will be forced to approach a Court of Law to effect this demand.
2. That the funds meant for construction of the flyover be mobilised toward construction of other roads of strategic importance to the State. These will include expansion and redesign of the Oke-Fia intersection which should be given utmost importance.
3. That traffic laws be strictly enforced at the Olaiya intersection and the traffic signals be better optimized to include the Green-Amber-Red default design of traffic signals. The intersection is already channelled and an upgrade of the traffic signals will achieve optimal results.
4. That the State Government must henceforth abide by the provisions of the 2015 procurement law in the award of every project, failing to do which we will be compelled to drag it before a Court of Law.
5. We are aware that for political expediency, the State Government may be adamant and decide to forge ahead with this project. We will however not hesitate to seek legal enforcement of these demands. We cannot sit back and allow governance be reduced to construction of white elephant, legacy projects that end up contributing no meaningful gains to the lives of our people.
TAG shall remain committed to the tenets of Accountability, probity and transparency in the public service.
Transparency and Accountability Group (TAG)