The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) in Oyo State has slammed Governor Seyi Makinde over the procurement of Awa Bike, saying the scheme is a mere deceit and smokescreen.
The party, in a statement signed by its State Secretary, Com. Ayodeji Adigun, said the Awa Bike Scheme is not a substitute to the provision of a functional health care service at the State Secretariat.
SPN noted that the health centre situated within the State Secretariat has more potential of health benefits for workers in the Secretariat and their families if equipped with both manpower and facilities. It lamented that the clinic has continued to suffer a huge neglect under the Engr Seyi Makinde administration.
The statement reads in full:
AWA BIKE SCHEME IS A PLOY BY MAKINDE-LED GOVERNMENT TO ENRICH PRIVATE FIRM WITH PUBLIC FUND
SPN challenges the Makinde-led regime to equip the State secretariat clinic with necessary facilities and manpower and made it accessible to all staff
The attention of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State Chapter has been drawn to media reports on the involvement of the Engr Seyi Makinde-led Oyo State government in one bike sharing scheme called AWA BIKE SCHEME. The State government in an attempt to justify its involvement in the scheme claimed that the motive behind it is to ease mobility around the Secretariat; encourage the engagement of people in exercise and reduce carbon emission including wearing and tearing of infrastructure.
It is true that riding of bicycle known as cycling is a form of aerobic exercise with proven scientific records of health advantages. However, we hold that the claim that the scheme specifically the involvement of the state government in it was inspired and motivated by its potential health benefit for mass of workers in the State secretariat is a mere deceit and smokescreen! Otherwise, it would not have appeared as a substitute to the provision of a functional health care service at the Secretariat.
The health centre situated within the State Secretariat has more potential of health benefits for mass of workers in the Secretariat and their families if equipped with both manpower and facilities. Unfortunately, the clinic has continued to suffer a huge neglect under the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government in the State. To us in SPN, the need to reposition the health centre which is currently in a deplorable condition owing to neglect and poor funding by successive governments in the State, should have been the first priority of the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government if truly its interest is to improve the health of workers in the State secretariat.
Again, the fact that the regime confessed that it paid administrative fee for its involvement in the so called scheme, further reinforces the suspicion that behind the AWA bike scheme is a self-serving motive to enrich a private firm with public fund regardless of the regime’s claim that it never paid for the procurement of the 60 bicycles reportedly delivered by the company for pilot test of the scheme. Moreover, the payment of the so called administrative fees by the Oyo state government signifies that the AWA BIKE scheme and character of the state government’s involvement is a kind of private public partnership, PPP arrangement which is usually a fraudulent policy through which public fund is used to satisfy the profit interest of pro-capitalist politicians who often masquerade as contractors or business men. We would welcome the provision of bikes for exercise at the Secretariat provided it is not meant to defraud the state and also if it exists side by side with functional health care centre at the Secretariat.
Therefore, the SPN calls on trade unions and workers to condemn any attempt by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government to use the public fund to satisfy the profit interest of acolytes and demand adequate funding and democratic control of the public health care services in the state in order to resuscitate and make functional the moribund health center at the state government Secretariat and also the health facilities in general in the state.