The Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s government of commencing the process of selling the state’s solid minerals mining license to some leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) based in Lagos.
The PDP in a statement issued by its Director of Media and Strategy, Prince Diran Odeyemi alleged that “We are not surprised at the latest move by Ogbeni Aregbesola to sell our assets because the last time he sold several hectares of land in Osun state to Lagos state government, people said PDP was crying wolf, but we will not be deterred in exposing this government as an expansion of Tinubu’s asset.”
But in a swift reaction, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Akinrogun Sunday Akere declared that it was sad that the PDP led government of Olagunsoye Oyinlola wasted close to N400m resources of the state on the false claim of processing and maintaining a mining license without returns to the state.
Akere said, “For over 4years, Prince Oyinlola was committing close to N40m yearly on servicing the mining license turning it to a drain pipe on the economy of the state. Knowing fully well that no government can venture into mining without having foreign partners that will join hands with it, Oyinlola will rather prefer to import ‘Oluwole experts’ to the state so that it can successfully siphon the state’s money without end.
“Few days back, a delegation of the state returned from a mining conference in Australia where several foreign firms indicated their willingness to partner with the state in turning the fate of the Livingspring Mineral Production Company around from the moribond state the PDP left it”.
“If the PDP now feels uncomfortable with the drive of Ogbeni Aregbesola to stop the leakages and pilfering they have been doing there in their 71/2years of misrule. If this is why they feel we want to sell it, we hold them no apology for it because it was our resolve to impart positively on the financial fortune of the state,” he added.
According to Prince Odeyemi, Osun state under Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola applied for and was issued a mining licence by the Bureau of Public Enterprises which conducted the bidding sessions. The licence confers on Osun State the right to mine solid minerals in any part of the country.
The first two prominent sites located at Atakunmosa (Gold) and Lokoja (Feldspar) were bidded for and won by the Osun State government before Oyinlola left governemnt. The State government consequently floated the “Livingspring Minerals Promotion Company as a Limited Liability Company.
PDP added that before Oyinlola left government, “Livingspring Minerals Promotion Company had acquired eleven mining sites all over the nation and had worked diligently with prospective invetors in mining destinations including Australia, United States, Canada and South Africa to commence mining operations in an attempt to widen the revenue base of government.”
A team of mining experts from the Geological Surveys of Nigeria Agency led by Prof. Siyan Malomo about four months ago visited Aregbesola during which he openly admitted that Oyinlola achieved so much in the mining sub-sector. “It was widely publicised, we never knew Ogbeni Aregbesola was laying the premises to sell off those gains to his political god-fathers and sponsors.” the PDP said.