LG polls: SPN berates Oyo govt for awarding N299m ballot papers printing contract

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Oyo state chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on Saturday said  the approval of N299 million by the Oyo state government for the printing of ballot papers for the coming local government election in the state was to allegedly secure an undemocratic  victory for the PDP in the election “

The party raised the alarm in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan signed by its Oyo state Secretary, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun on the forthcoming local government election in the state.

SPN said there was no basis for the Oyo state government’s involvement in the decision that led to the awarding of the printing contract to an undisclosed private company with an operation franchise under the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Companies, (NSPMC).

” It  is our belief in SPN, that the primary motive behind the award of the printing of ballot paper to a franchisee of NSPMC by the Gov  Makinde administration is not about any attempt to be transparent but rather to continue to take the fraudulent advantage often provided by pro-capitalist policy of Private Public Partnership, PPP and most importantly to secure an undemocratic  victory for the PDP in the forthcoming local Government Elections” , it said.

The party added, ” the approval of such an outrageous sum of N299 million for the printing of ballot paper is a misplaced priority and further exposes the anti-workers disposition of the Engineer Seyi Makinde-led government”, adding, that the Engr Makinde-led government, in less than two years of its existence has been riddled with numbers of industrial strikes and disputes, many of which are still lingering while the suspended ones are still looming specifically over many demands of workers that are yet to be satisfied by the administration”..

SPN in the statement described as unwise the decision to approve N299million for printing ballot papers when “for over two weeks now, workers in not less than five tertiary institutions in Oyo state have embarked on indefinite strike to protest the decision of the PDP-led state government to renege on its earlier commitment to pay the striking workers their eleven(11) months minimum wage arrears.

” It is in the light of these numbers of labour related issues and other issues on financial needs of the state as it affects the working but suffering people that we of the SPN find it extremely unwise and unfortunate, the decision by the Engr  Makinde-led government, which is known for its regular complaint of paucity of fund, to have approved N299million for the printing of ballot papers for a local government election when there is an obvious option of making use of the State owned Printing press to carry out the same printing at a drastically reduced cost and save for the State millions of naira.”

The party maintained, “again the chances is high the state owned printing press can be well-equipped with improved  functional capacity from the said amount if allows to undertake the printing of the ballot paper and continues to be used beyond the immediate need for ballot papers.  for all the State’s printing work including printing work from other state,  hence serving as a means of generating revenue for the state.”

SPN said ” the Engr Makinde-led regime of the PDP, a political party that is also part of the contest  in the said Local Government election lacks the capacity to be transparent, given its involvement in awarding the printing contract and the kind of relationship including influence it might have established with the company expected to print the ballot paper”. 

 ” It is important to state that, since 2018, the Federal Government, has officially sold 21% of its interest in NSPMC, the composition and character of the NSPMC operation has been significantly altered.”

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