Govt Stops Construction Of Shopping Complex In Ogun School

The Ogun State government has distanced itself from the construction of a shopping complex inside the compound of a primary school in the state.

The government said it had stopped the controversial project after its attention was called to it.

Our correspondent gathered that the Chairman of the Ado Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Sheriff Musa, had ordered contractors to build the complex in the premises of the Nawair-Ud-deen Primary School 1, Atan Ota.

There was a protest by stakeholders who expressed shock over the sudden development.

When our correspondent visited the place, it was observed that a banner was displayed on the fence of the school, showing what the structure will look like and beckoning people to make payment.

It was further observed that the completion of the project implies that buying and selling would take place while the pupils are receiving teaching in their classrooms.

The work had already begun on the project inside the school.

A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Wasiu, said the shopping complex will have 20 shops with 10 of them downstairs and another 10 upstairs.

He said, “Some bricklayers just came one day and started digging the land inside the school. As concerned people, we approached them and they said they were doing it on the instructions of the local government chairman.”

When contacted, the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, confirmed the incident.

Arigbabu however said he has stopped the chairman from going ahead with the project.

He said, “We have stopped him, I don’t know If he continued, I’ll find out, but we have ordered him to stop.

“We cannot give approval to anybody to use the school for a shopping complex, it’s not possible.

“Not only our own approval; he also needs the approval of the ministry of physical planning.

“So, we can’t give him approval, we have been working on similar cases in other schools too.

“They are only thinking about themselves, they are not thinking about the generality of their job.”

Also reacting to the allegation, the chairman confirmed that he initiated the project.

Musa however said the contractor acted in haste.

He said, “I also engaged some CSO in Ogun State where I state that the contractor acted in haste that I only gave verbal consent for the exercise to begin. We are yet to seek the necessary approval from other agencies concerned.

“I mean I gave consent for the process of obtaining approval to me and not the job.”

Punch

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