The Oyo State government has cleared the air on the issue of the article publicised by Sahara reporters over the alleged ₦998 million exercise book contract.
In a statement issued on Monday by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, it was made known that for the 2020/2021 academic session, the Oyo State Government awarded contracts for the supply of exercise books for a total sum of ₦446,370,480, 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 150/60 leaves customised exercise books and ₦180/80 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 statement read.
The Oyo State government described the situation as appalling and one “which betrays a lack of journalistic or investigative rigour”.
The government also promised continue to display fidelity, accountability, integrity, transparency, and honesty in all its activities, adding that anyone who has any questions regarding any contract awards in Oyo State is free to approach relevant agencies for clarification.