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Mitros residence construction : Ogun assembly committee queries former OPIC MD over N40m unaccounted for

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The Ogun House of Assembly has  questioned Mr Babajide Odusolu,  former Managing Director OPIC  on why over N40million could not be accounted in the construction expenses of the MITROS Residence, Ibara, which was carried out between 2015 and 2019. 

The assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-corruption  took on the former MD of the State Property and Investments Corporation (OPIC) on Monday  in continuation of the consideration of the financial reports  of the Corporation between  2015 and 2019.

The committee  revealed that Odusolu  disposed-off landed property it purchased for over N515million at Isheri and valued at N848million at a giveaway price of N164million for half of its  portion. 

According to the committee, this is even in spite of over four year- term of expected appreciation on the property which was sold off barely 10 days before the exipiration of the last administration in May, 2019.

Mr Musefiu Lamidi,  the Committee Chairman, acknowledged the submission of audited financial statement for 2018 to 2019 and the management letter on the financial statement by the Corporation in response to the previous meeting held with the former MD on October 13 .

Lamidi decried the manner in which the former MD spent the total sum of N881million on the construction and procurement of equipment for the Mitros Residence at Ibara without the approval of the State House of Assembly.

The lawmaker  requested for clarifications on the role of the OPIC Board in the running of OPIC as well as the process of the project execution.

Lamidi further confronted the MD with the Corporation’s  inability to keep fixed assets registers, likewise the non-availability of cash book and bank reconciliation statements on demand to external auditors.

He said the  infractions  were in contravention of the Appropriation Laws for the period, as well as in contrast to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and the State Financial Regulations, which equally mandated the keeping of up-to-date fixed assets register by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.    

Consequently, the committee directed Odusolu to re-appear on November 25 , the date the former MD  freely picked by himself as a convenient date, having taken permission to only stay for maximum of two hours for today’s proceeding on account of ill health.

The committee asked the former MD  to avail the committee more documents and clarifications on all records including projects and other transactions carried out under his watch.

Others requested by the lawmakers  included land sales, properties, lease/rent among others with specifications of their respective location, sizes, type of building and cost facilities external to the building such as access roads and paving among others which was to be submitted on or before Wednesday, November 11.

Responding, Odusolu noted that though, he did not  secure the approval of the State House of Assembly for the Mitros project, but had approval of the former Governor Ibikunle Amosun for the construction, noting that the N40million was part of  funds spend in the course of the construction of the Mitros Residence. 

He added  that the housing projects at Isheri had been concluded under a shell in construction but was controverted by the lawmakers with pictorial evidence, just as he disclosed that the law setting up the Corporation allows the MD to report directly to the state governor and not the Board.

Odusolu assured the lawmakers that all other documents requested would be provided at the next proceeding of the House Committee.

Other lawmakers at the meeting included the committee’s  Vice Chairman ,  Abdul  Oladunjoye , the Minority Leader, Ganiyu Oyedeji, Chief Whip, Atinuke Bello.

Others are Yusuf Amosun, Olakunle Sobukanla, Damilola Soneye, Solomon Osho, Oludaisi Elemide and AbayomI Fasuwa.

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