Ogun State Government has debunked a media report that the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun abandoned and allowed the 27 model schools built by the immediate past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to rot away.
In a statement, yesterday, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, while reacting to the report, said that the claims that the schools were neglected by the incumbent governor were not only untrue but also misleading.
According to Somorin, the idea of model schools by the administration of former Governor Amosun were not only ill-conceived, but also designed as white elephant projects from the beginning, noting that it was actually abandoned by the Ibikunle Amosun’s Administration and it would be uncharitable to blame Abiodun for the abandonment.
The statement reads in part: “In 2012, Ogun State government under Ibikunle Amosun announced the commencement of 26 model schools to be built across 20 local councils for N27 billion. The flag-off for the construction began with the foundation laying ceremony of Ogun State Model Secondary School, Ilaro. This was done by former Governor Amosun during an occasion to mark his first anniversary as governor.
“Unfortunately, that same school that was the starting point like other projects has remained a groundbreaking but un-commissioned project. The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, said so and that so-called pioneer model school has also been declared “structurally defective” by a committee headed by a former President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Adekunle Mokunolu, that reviewed projects done between 2009 and 2019 in Ogun State.
“Each of the schools cost tax-payers between N1.05 billion and N2 billion respectively. That humongous money used to construct these white elephant model schools should have been used to renovate dilapidated schools across the state, which were foisted on us when we came in.”
It is wasteful on the part of the last government to say they wanted to embark on construction of model schools when such money could be easily spent on other things.
“Amosun’s administration claimed that the concept was meant to provide 26 model schools in each of the state constituencies and that the school projects would be completed by 2013. But two out the 15 projects were sited in one local council, while there are no projects in about six local councils, contrary to the original plan.
“Odeda, Ijebu North-East, Imeko-Afon, Egbado North and Odogbolu local councils didn’t benefit from the project. What happened to the remaining 11 for which funds were fully disbursed?”
Somorin, in the statement, said that, like the model schools, several capital projects were already abandoned by Amosun’s administration all over the state before it left office.
He said that rather than vilifying Abiodun for not continuing with the model schools, which were abandoned by the same administration that started them, he should be commended for turning some of the model schools into useful edifices.