- Category: Politics
- Published on Saturday, 02 July 2011 23:59
- Written by Ernest Nwokolo
- Hits: 1041
OGUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday reviewed land transactions under the administration of his predecessor, Gbenga Daniel, who he alleged sold state property at giveaway prices to “friends and cronies”.
He accused Daniel of using two agencies - the Gateway Holdings Limited and the Bureau of Lands and Survey – to dispose public assets and shortchanged the state.
He said the state was shortchanged by the bureau to the tune of N22 billion.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, was the Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Holdings Limited.
Gbenga Ogunnoiki was the Director-General of the Bureau of Lands and Survey.
According to Amosun, Gateway Holdings gave away common assets without due process in the name of concessions.
The governor said there are existing laws forbidding the concessioning or sales of certain public assets to individuals.
“To facilitate the concession, the Daniel-led administration created the Gateway Holdings Limited to move those assets into the Holdings and began to sell them to friends.
“We will recover such public assets for the state.”
The governor spoke at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, during a parley with stakeholders, including labour unions, students and civil servants among others.
It was the governor’s maiden “State of the State Address” to mark his one month in office.
The governor said the concessions were done in a manner that contravened due process.
He said whatever decision to be taken on the matter would be discussed at the State Executive Council meeting.
“One thing that I observed, which runs across all the concessions, is that all did not follow due process.”
Amosun regretted that the sales were done in questionable circumstances.
“Even the Gateway Trailer Park near the old Toll Gate at Ogere, in Ikenne Local Government, was concessioned for 25 years on May 2 (a public holiday) at N25 million.
Amosun said: “It is the worst abuse of power by any administration.
“In this case, the Gateway Holdings had no clue of this invidious concession that was entered into on May 2 at the end of the last administration’s days.
Amosun said the Gateway Hotels were given out in similar circumstances.
“After they had been valued by Ayo Otegbola & Co at N1, 408,694,108 in 2009, only N300 million was paid to the state through the Gateway Holdings Limited.
“The Gateway Hotel, Ijebu Ode, after valuation at N707, 529,709, was concessioned for N100 million or an average of N30 million per annum.”
The governor also accused the Daniel administration of trying to kill agriculture by concessioning key assets in the sector.
He said: “Remo Rubber Plantation was given out at N20 million for 60 years.
“Also, Apoje Farms, which occupies about 8,000 hectares of land, was given out for 30 million on a dubious concession term.
“Also, Ikenne Dairy Farms was concessioned for 25 years for a fee of $1million, but no record of this transaction is reflected in government’s accounts.”
Amosun also told stakeholders how the state was cheated of N22 billion through the Bureau of Lands and Survey by remitting less than what was possibly accruable to the state from land sales and ratification in the last eight years.
He noted that 41 hectares of land allocated to private developers on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway could have fetched the government N33.8 billion, going by the Bureau’s rate.
Amosun said: “The revenue that ought to accrue to Ogun State from the huge land allocations was at least N33.8 billion, if we use the Bureau rates.
“Curiously, for the entire period of eight years, the last administration posted a meagre N10.9 billion for land allocation and N577 million for land ratification.” (The Nation)