1:20 pm - Thursday July 24, 2014

I didn’t award N8.6bn ‘Opon Imo’ contract to my son — Aregbesola

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The governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Saturday, declared that he did not award the N8.6billion contract of learning tablets dubbed “Opon Imo”, which was recently launched in the state, to his son, Kabiru Aregbesola.

He described the speculation that his son bagged the contract as unfounded and pack of lies to discredit the technological innovations distributed to SSS 3 students in public schools to ease their access to knowledge through the learning tablets.

Aregbesola, who spoke at an interactive session tagged “Ogbeni Till Day Break”, in Osogbo, said his son, among numerous others, only contributed to the project by uploading the textbooks into the learning tablets.

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The former governor of Lagos State and the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the launch of “Opon Imo”, in Ilesa, some weeks back called Aregbesola’s son (Kabiru) out of the audience, saying that he should be praised for his significant role in the success of the project.

The development triggered speculations that Aregbesola awarded the contract to his son, just as the opposition accused him of allegedly using his office to enrich his immediate family.

While clarifying the role played by his son in the project at the interactive session,  the governor contended that “we had serious problem in uploading the textbooks into the  hardware. We called experts, but they could not do it and I became worried and downcast about it.”

“My son, who studied informatics in Cuba noticed  me and inquired what was wrong and I told him about our difficulties in uploading the textbooks into the hardware. From that point, he decided to come in and he was able to help in uploading the educational materials into “Opon Imo”. He did not collect a dime for it. That was the critical contribution he made that was misconstrued by the opposition, who said I awarded the contract to Kabiru,” Aregbesola asserted.

On the debt portfolio of the state, he said there was no iota of truth that Osun was heavily indebted, disclosing that “our debt profile is in the region of N30 billion and the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently published a report on debt owed by states in the federation, Osun State ranked number one as one of the least indebted states.”

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