Ogun generated N18.7bn through OPIC in six years, Odusolu tells State Assembly
...debunks allegations of financial impropriety at OPIC as House begins probe
Babajide Odusolu, a lawyer and immediate past managing director of the Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC), has debunked the allegations of financial impropriety and misappropriation at the State-owned housing investment corporation during the tenure of former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, saying all the transactions made during his 6-year tenure followed due process.
Odusolu, who appeared before Ogun State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-corruption on Tuesday during an investigative hearing on his six-year tenure at OPIC, declared that his six- year tenure at the Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation was a turnaround time for the 36-year old Corporation as he generated an unprecedented revenue of N18.7 billion for the state.
The former managing director of OPIC said that OPIC being the investment arm of the state housing scheme was positioned like a corporate entity which did not follow the methodology of core civil service mentality and philosophy, hence, the Office of the Auditor-general misconstrued the scope by raising a phantom alarm of financial impropriety and misappropriation.
Odusolu said that he and his team at OPIC advised former Governor Amosun to allow them run OPIC like corporate entity without any subvention from government and they still made the place proud by putting up more investments which later paid off, leaving N40 billion assets at the OPIC while leaving in May 2019.
He said, “Government must see and allow OPIC to operate with flexibility as a business. If you want to force us to do the things like they do in the past, you will go back to the old ways. When I was here, we had targets, every months, everybody had targets
“When you take a business and try and funnel it into the details of civil service, you will always have conflicts
“Look at Orange Valley, look at Kings Court. Kings Court is viable today, simply because in 2014 and 2015, we moved about 16,700 trips of latrite to fill that place and reclaim it, that’s why there is value there
“Look at New Makun, look at MTR Gardens, and even Agbara, though work didn’t finish but we did the best we can. So, my plea to the current administration is to unshackle OPIC, and the leadership they put in OPIC and allow it to actually run”
“Within a 6 years period, we turned around OPIC and generated over N18.7 billion in revenue and the total expenditure we made was about N12.3 billion.
“You will probably say, where are the rest investments? They are all over the place. The reason OPIC continues to thrive today is because all those investments, we left them there. We left land in New Makun, we left land in Agbara, that is viable, we left land in MTR Gardens, that is viable and houses everywhere, that is what OPIC is still surviving on until today.
“The worth of all the assets we left in OPIC is worth a N40 billion enterprise.”
Responding, deputy speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Oludare Kadiri, lauded the six-year tenure of Babajide Odusolu at OPIC as unprecedented as he declared that “everybody knows that you have done well in OPIC, you built this and built that, but we can’t sweep such an allegation under the carpet, hence, you were invited to answer questions as regards your tenure in OPIC.”
Meanwhile, Musefiu Lamidi-led House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-corruption has requested Abiodun Fari-arole-led management of Ogun State Property and Investment ( Corporation) to furnish the House with more documents to assist the Committee on its proceedings with a view to ensuring accountability, probity and transparency in line with its constitutional duties.