Senator Accuses Akeredolu’s Aides of Exploiting His Illness to Sell Off Govt’s Assets
The Senator for Ondo Central Senatorial District, Ayo Akinyelure, yesterday, raised the alarm that some appointees of the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, have begun to take advantage of the governor’s health challenges to sell off assets of the government estimated at billions of naira.Specifically, he claimed that the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Agriculture, Pastor Akinoola Olootu, was conniving with some people to illegally sell off the Ondo State Chocolate factory worth between N9bn to N15bn at a paltry sum of N10m.
Akinyelure first made the allegation on the floor of the Senate through a motion on Tuesday before repeating it at a news conference in his office yesterday.He argued that it was important for him to stop “such mischievous adventure with his position as a lawmaker representing the people of the state.He explained that the Dr. Olusegun Mimiko administration started the chocolate factory project at Idanre Ondo town to provide jobs for the people and utilize the mass production of cocoa in the area………CONTINUE READING
He added that Akeredolu bought the idea until he was allegedly misled by his assistant to withdraw his support, “so that they can sell the multi-million dollar project at a giveaway price to themselves. The Ondo State government under the immediate past administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, established the Coca Processing Factory as part of his statewide industrialisation drive.
“He took over the moribund federal government asset and entered into partnership with an American chocolate industrialist, Eric Reid of Spangvola Chocolatier United States of America. His aim was to convert dried Cocoa bean from the state to chocolate and cocoa butter, there by adding value to Nigeria Cocoa produce before export.
“The machinery for the smooth take-off of this very important Industry in Idanre were imported, installed and equipped for commencement of production in partnership with Mr. Eric of Spangvola Chocolatiers, USA.
“The first batch of Chocolate production was made in 2015 after the commissioning of this multi-billion naira project by the state government at the twilight of the Governor Olusegun Mimiko Administration in 2015.
“In order to guarantee constant supply of cocoa beans to the factory, the Oda Cocoa Plantation, which is over 1,744 Hectares, was resuscitated and made functional with over 250 Cocoa farmers’ up-scaling daily production from the farm in order to feed the factory.”
Akinyelure further stated that, “The masterminds planned to sell off the industry under the guise that the asset was non-operational, not minding the huge investment of over N9bn the state government had committed to the project and the time of the govrnor’s ill-health was the time for them to carry out their ‘evil ploan.
“The principal partner, Mr. Eric Reid of Spangvola Chocolatiers was sacked while his partnership with the state was revoked thus putting the company and the huge investment of the State into jeopardy.”
The Senator also alleged that some people in the state government under a sinister motive had concluded plan to put the Company for sale cheaply for as low as N10m to cronies without following due process of competitive bidding in line with the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act, 1999.
“These people are taking advantage of the ill-health of the governor to sell state-owned properties to themselves. By God’s grace, the governor will get better,” he said, urging the Speaker, Ondo Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun to ensure that the people did not illegally sell state’s property cheaply.”