The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
Ibadan Circular Road: State Govrt Says Contract Was Revoked But Was Mute to FOIA Requests
The Oyo State Government Feedback, under the leadership of the Oyo State Government (OYSG) says the contract awarded to SEL-Vydra, totalling N138.2bn to construct the entire 110km stretch of Ibadan Circular road was revoked.
The Oyo State Government feedback reveals this through its verified X handle, adding that the revocation of the contract was after recognising the contractor, SEL-Vydra couldn’t “reach the milestones agreed.”
This was the OYSG reason to “re-awarded” the contract “to Craneburg which is currently constructing the road,” the OYSG feedback handle says on Tuesday.
“thank you for bringing this to our attention @bigcullinan. @TheICIR, the Oyo State Government responded to this allegation in 2021. SEL-Vydra was a consortium of companies registered as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the purpose of the construction of the Ibadan Circular Road. The contract was awarded but the milestones agreed were not reached and so the OYSG revoked the contract and re-awarded it to Craneburg which is currently constructing the road,” Oyo State Government Feedback writes on its X handle.
Moreover, this is coming after the PIJAlance Magazine published an investigation into the intriguing procurement process of the Ibadan Circular road.
Conducted by its Head of Research and Investigations, Enoch Oyedibu, the investigation reveals the intriguing tale of how the Oyo State Government awarded the N138.2bn project to a two-month old company known as SEL-Vydra.
During the investigation, legal requests through the provisions of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2010 were addressed to the Ministry of Works and the Oyo State Investment, Public and Private Partnership Agency (OYSIPA) on two separate occasions but were left without a single response.
The first letters addressed to the Ministry and the agency under OYSG separately were on June 27, 2023 and were in “pursuant to Section 2 (3) and 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, to request for the details of contracts approved for the construction of Ibadan Circular road to SEL-Vydra consortium and Craneburg Construction Company.”
The letters requested that “1. Bid documents containing details of the Contractors, final approved sum of the contracts, duration and completion date for the contracts awarded to SEL-Vydra and Craneburg Construction Company
“2. Details of releases so far made to contractors (Craneburg and SEL-Vydra), including details of time and amount of each release.
“3. The contract documents signed with the contractors (Craneburg and SEL-Vydra).
“4. A signed agreement letter presented as a proof for SEL-Vydra forming a consortium.
“5. Credentials presented by SEL-Vydra that led to the award of the contract, including CAC Registration, Receipt of Payment, Company’s Income Tax Clearance, Personal Income Tax Clearance, VAT Registration Certificate, Company Profile with Resume and Government issued ID of Key Personnel Memorandum & Articles of Association, Evidence of previously executed projects, Bank Reference Letter, Company’s 3-Year Financial Summary.”
The letters were greeted with no response. This made this newspaper to send reminder letters to the agency and the ministry on July 12 and yet were left with no responses barely two months later until the investigation was published in September.
In the investigation, Enoch reports that a company (SEL-Vydra) composed of two companies (Still Earth Capital Finance Limited and Vydra Investment) was awarded the construction of Ibadan Circular Road project.
The company in question possessed no prior road construction experience as one (Vydra) does not exist in its physical address and the other (Still Earth Capital Finance Limited—SEL) is a financial service company.
SEL-VYDRA was registered merely two months before the contract was granted—specifically on May 10, 2021.
The report captures how the Ibadan Circular Road project awarded by the Oyo State Government, through its agency, Oyo State Investment, Public and Private Partnership Agency (OYSIPA) has been mired in controversy, with allegations of irregularities in the procurement process and the contractors’ qualifications.
The road project was established as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) under a Build Operate and Transfer model, between the state government and contractor SEL-Vydra, contributing a ratio of 20 to 80 percent respectively.
The first 32km phase of the 110km road project embodies a four-lane, dual-carriage motorway that links the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to the Ibadan-Ife highway, incorporating diverse features such as bridges, interchanges, streetlights, security posts, and other essential road infrastructures.
The investigation also reveals that one of the directors of Vydra is Anthony Adedapo Makinde.