………Says OPIC gained N60bn in six years under his management
By Grace Alegba/Olawale Jokotoye
Mr Babajide Odusolu, former Managing Director, Ogun State Property Development Corporation (OPIC), on Tuesday dismissed allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him by the state House of Assembly.
Odusolu, also a former Special Adviser to former Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, told a news conference in Ikeja that he would seek legal redress ovee the false allegations leveled against him by the assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the assembly had on Friday passed a resolution directing Odusolu to return N40 million unaccounted for in 2019 into the state purse within six months.
Addressing newsmen, the former OPIC MD said he would take legal action to clear his name, describing the indictment as mere political vendetta since he had already addressed all issues raised.
He said he was cleared during his appearance before the House Committee in October 2020 along with the then management team of OPIC, led by the Director of Finance and Administration as witnesses.
He expressed shock over media publications indicting him, saying that OPIC, being a statutory corporation was regularly audited by auditors independently recommended by the Auditor-General of the state.
He added that the accounting processes, policies and standards were predefined, hence, the allegations of missing monies were false, demanding for a formal forensic audit to prove otherwise.
Odusolu said he revered the Assembly and the state but would stand against the deliberate damage to his reputation and business as a real estate developer, as well as the de-marketing of OPIC and Ogun State as investment destination.
He said the state witnessed unprecedented Foreign Direct Investment and growth of the Internally Generated Revenue during his six years tenure as MD of OPIC under the administration of former governor Amosun.
The former MD, flanked at the conference by his counsel from the Law Chambers of Ebun Olu–Adegboruwa, gave statistics of new towns, estates and industrial communities actualized under him.
He said the House Committee Chairman on Public Finance, Mr Musefiu Lamidi, was conversant with the accounting procedures of OPIC , “as he was a Special Adviser under the Senator Amosun led administration’’.
“It is also on record that through this strategy, Ogun State emerged as the number one industrialised state in Nigeria and became the destination of choice for Local and Direct Foreign Investment in Nigeria in the area of manufacturing and industry,“ he said
The former MD said if recommendations of the committee were implemented, it would lead to revocation of more than 60 per cent of projects which would constitute policy inconsistencies that would dampen investors’ confidence.
He said he delivered 14 projects including: New Makun City, MTR Gardens, Isheri , New Dawn Gardens, Agbara, Gateway Polytechnic, Isheri and Agbara Industrial Roads, MITROS Residence Hotel and 1,000 Family Homes Housing Project.
“During my six-year tenure, we expended approximately N15 billion and generated over N20 billion in revenues. All these projects successfully transformed the status, capacity and abilities of OPIC.
“We were 100 per cent self-funding and successfully grew the asset base of OPIC turning it into a mega corporation with an asset base in excess of N60 billion.
“We operated under intense scrutiny with a principal, His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who is a seasoned chartered accountant, two commissioners of finance, who were also chartered accountants; and independently appointed auditors, who were not accountable or reporting to us.
“Furthermore, the structure of OPIC and its clear accounting policies did not create any room for the sort of laxity or mischief being alleged by this House Committee.
“OPIC is a statutory corporation with legal personality; attempting to hold me liable without any proven infractions directly attributable to me or obfuscating facts is a deplorable act, a clear and brazen abuse of legislative privilege and by so doing, the Committee has done incalculable damage to my reputation and by extension de-marketing OPIC and Ogun state,’’ he said.
Mr Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi, Managing Director AAA Chambers, who led the Ebun Adegoruwa & Co legal team, also explained the technicalities of the litigation processes. (NAN)