The Ondo State government on Monday denied allegations that it is selling metals in some of the government establishments which include the state Water Corporation and Waste Management Board.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo who made the denial during a press conference in Akure, Ondo state capital, said the denial became necessary following a trending video circulating in the state over the development.
Ojogo explained that only obsolete and scrap metals in some of the establishment are sold out to a private firm because most of the metals are obsolete and has been in stock for over 40 years and can longer be repaired.
He said ” a proposal received by Mr Governor from a Company Messrs Black Cann Limited, requesting to purchase obsolete and scrap metals in the state.
“The governor directed the Commissioner for Finance, to handle the assignment as the commissioner handling the schedule, who passed the assignment to appropriate department saddled with such responsibility”
According to him, due process was followed while it was recommended by the external auditor that any item that has been in stock between 30 and 40 years and can no longer be repaired should be disposed of, especially if the cost of repair is more than 75 per cent of the purchase price.
He disclosed that the materials were pipes, bends castes tees that were not internally lined and externally coated bought by the state government between 1980 and 1982 during the construction of Egbedam and Owena Ondo road in 1965.
He explained that the pipes had corroded both internally and externally and using it for water supply will amount to poisoning the people of the state because there will be dissolved metals into the potable water pumped out for consumption.
He said in carrying out the disposal of the objects “agencies were directed to set up a board if survey to identify all obsolete items recommended and after the submission of the list, the state government set up a Central Board Survey to check and reconfirm the claim of the MDAs.
“Circular was issued requesting MDAs to follow the list of such obsolete and scrap in their yard. Predominantly this item concerned were pipe, joints connectors and other metals kept in the warehouse of water corporation that is no more in use.
“Such materials acquired some 40 years ago and are no longer permissible to be used in water reticulation, maintenance and management
“But only occupy space that defiles aesthetic and constitutes menace and hazard. It is, therefore, a wise thing for the government to sell them to any buyer”
Ojogo said the price of the scraps objects were according to international benchmark price and it was based on the tonnage with the use of weighing bridge from OSAMCO.
He, however, lambasted those behind the circulated video of misinforming the people of the state without finding their facts before going public, saying the steps were taken in the interest of the governor.