PRESS RELEASE ON THE ALLEGED OYO STATE GOVERNMENT N998 MILLION EXERCISE BOOK INFLATED CONTRACT
The attention of the Oyo State Government has been drawn to an article publicised by Sahara Reporters, titled, “School Notebooks: N998 Million Oyo State Government Project Exposes Contract Inflation, Jobs Awarded To Companies 2 Months After Registration,” in which it was alleged that “each copy of the 60 leaves notebook cost the state N2,100 to print.”
We are appalled at this submission which betrays a lack of journalistic or investigative rigour. We are baffled that any news media would arrive at conclusions regarding contract awards without reaching out to any agency of the Oyo State Government for comments or clarifications.
For the avoidance of doubt, for the 2020/2021 academic session, the Oyo State Government awarded contracts for the supply of exercise books for a total sum of N446,370,480. The award was to 8 different contractors in 14 lots to supply customised 60 and 80 leaves exercise books. The 14 lots consisted of six lots of 212,505 customised 60 leaves exercise books, and six lots of 178,663 customised 80 leaves exercise books. There were additional two lots of 200,004 customised 60 leaves exercise books, and 178,668 customised 80 leaves exercise books. This gives a total of 2,725,680 customised exercise books at the rate of N150/60 leaves customised exercise books and N180/80 leaves customised exercise books.
You may recall that for the 2020/2021 academic session, the Oyo State Government distributed over 2.7 million exercise books in secondary schools across the state. Each secondary school student got 6 exercise books each.
Had these reporters followed the ethics of their profession to seek comments from the Oyo State Government through the multiple feedback channels we have online and offline, the matter would have been clarified. Instead, they resorted to malice and bad faith to malign the Oyo State Government and smear its reputation.
Therefore, we have resolved to sue these media outfits for the malicious publications.
The general public is urged to disregard this disinformation propagated by Sahara Reporters and its cohorts. The Oyo State Government will continue to display fidelity, accountability, integrity, transparency and honesty in all its activities. Anyone who has any questions regarding any contract awards in Oyo State is free to approach relevant agencies for clarification.
Wasiu Olatubosun (PhD),
Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism,
Monday April 4, 2022.