Insinuations that most political office holders, as well as governments across the country, may have turned the Covid-19 pandemic into a full-fledged money-making venture may not be far from the truth as the actions of the Governor of Ogun State Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun, may have become a clear reference point of this charade.
We gathered that the Governor through the Ministry of Environment cunningly devised a strategy to fleece private property and private organizations owners through a compulsory payment of N95,000 for disinfection of their premises.
In a letter dated 10th June 2020 sent to all private business owners across the state by the state’s Ministry of Environment, Governor Dapo mandated all private property and private organization owners to pay a whopping N95,000 (Ninety-Five Thousand naira) to the account of an agent, contracted by the government to carry out the disinfection of all private properties and organizations across the state.
Fully aware that passing a law mandating all private property and private organizations owners to contract companies to disinfect their premises before reopening will not contribute to his financial chest, the Governor through the Ministry resorted to awarding the contract for the disinfection to a company, Sekbol and Sons Nig Enterprises alleged to be a proxy.
A check of the company Sekbol and Sons Nig Enterprises on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website showed that the company with RC number 3053335 is located at 22, Olabisi Onabanjo Way, Fed Medical Centre, Idi-Aba was registered on 22nd January 2020.
Dishearteningly, all business owners across the state we learned were mandated to pay a service fee of N80,000 (Eighty Thousand Naira) and another N15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Naira), amounting to N95,000 to its Gateway Mortgage Bank account number 1000298540 within seven (7) days not minding the fact that the company may not have the capacity or manpower to carry out the herculean task across all local government areas in the state.
“Why should they pay for that? Enforcement should be the responsibility in this case not helping them to get an agent to do that for them. This action may result in extortion of the affected. Gomina Dapo, you have no business in getting them an agent at a fee. What you should do is to make the disinfection of both Public and Private properties compulsory via law and the Ministry of Environment task force should ensure full compliance with the law. The content of the letter is open to extortion. How many rounds of disinfection will be done and Duration? Be that as it may, I see this as extortion of Private properties/organization owners”, lamented a business owner who questioned the rationale behind the decision of the government.
It should be recalled that during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the eventual Nationwide lockdown, Governor Abiodun had on several occasions made bogus promises of feeding over 500,000 poor people and distributing one million facemasks to the people of the state, however, more than two months later, it is alleged that no part of this promise has been fulfilled by the Governor.