The chairman of the Water Corporation of Oyo State, Dr. Adebayo Adepoju, has declared that there is no record of illegal sale of assets belonging to the corporation, contrary to claims by an opposition politician in the state.
Adepoju, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, on Tuesday, said that the corporation has only embarked on an inventory-taking and auditing so as to ascertain and account for all the assets of the corporation.
The statement added that contrary to claims by an opposition political party that the corporation is engaging in illegal sale of water pipes, the corporation had only brought out the pipes in the scheme, which had laid fallow in the swamps, for proper counting, audit and accountability.
The statement further indicated that the claims credited to a chieftain of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), were false and unfounded.
He assured members of the public that the corporation remained committed to providing potable water to residents, noting that no amount of lies or character assassination would deter the corporation from achieving the mandate of potable water for all.
The statement said: “The attention of the management and staff of the Water Corporation of Oyo State has been drawn to an online publication made by a chieftain of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) on the alleged illegal sale of water pipes by the management of the Water Corporation.
“While the corporation refutes the claim in its entirety, it has become extremely important to make this press release to keep the public well-informed.
“A few months ago, a committee was set up to audit all the assets and take an inventory of the corporation. Its responsibility, among others, was to ascertain and account for all inventory and assets of the corporation for accountability.
“The said pipes had been lying in the swamp for years, so they had to be brought out for proper counting, audit and accountability. As a result of bringing out these pipes, there was an alarm that the pipes were being taken out for illegal sale.
“The management had earlier followed up on all information received and moved to properly secure the assets. Some of the measures put in place include the replacement of the security outfit watching the scheme, the installation of solar powered security surveillance cameras that can be viewed both on site and remotely and completion of the perimeter fencing of the scheme.”
The corporation’s boss further explained that the alarm raised about illegal sale of pipes and the picture being circulated on the internet as portraying illegal sale were baseless, as the truck in the circulated picture was, indeed, that of those enlisted by the corporation to take the pipes from the swamps to another location for proper counting.
“Late last month, the chairman alerted the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Operation Burst to the alarm raised by some persons that some pipes were being taken out of the scheme illegally.
“The response from the JTF, which included the Oyo State Road Transport Management Agency (OYRTMA), was swift and they found out that the truck in the viral picture, which was seen by the men of the Operation Burst and OYRTMA, was, indeed, authorised by the corporation to lift the pipes out of the swamp to another location.
“The truck got stuck in the mud at the location, which necessitated OYRTMA taking their heavy-duty towing vehicle to bring out the truck. This was the picture taken and being passed around as showing some people trying to illegally sell state’s assets. The alarm would have been deemed unnecessary but for the fact that the operators of the vehicle were sighted at the swamp on a weekend, which might have necessitated the wrong signals to members of the public.”
The corporation took exception to the claim in the fake story by the acclaimed AD chieftain that illegal sale resumed under the administration of the current chairman, Dr. Adepoju, saying that claim was ill-motivated and conceived to “assassinate his character and drag his integrity in the mud just to score a political point.”
“We would like to state here that we appreciate the vigilance of the public. The corporation is determined to provide pipe borne water to all the citizens of the state and would leave no stone unturned in achieving this goal.
“The government of His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde prides itself on transparency and accountability.
“The government and the Water Corporation remain committed to reviving the water supply sector in the state, as the old pipes are being replaced at a dizzying pace across the state,” the statement added.