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SPECIAL REPORT : Unveiling Ogun’s Financial Enigma: Abiodun Spends Over N80bn On Agro Cargo Airport In Two Years

Cargo Airport Not Owned By Ogun - Investigation

…Foreign Investors Sam Iwuajoku, Herbert Wigwe Allegedly Brought In To Acquire Airport


Daud Olatunji

In a bombshell revelation, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State is under a glaring spotlight for his administration’s remarkable expenditure of over N80 billion within a mere two-year period, all funneled into the controversial Agro Cargo Airport project.

This eye-watering allocation of public funds which was ‘just to provide infrastructure” has ignited a firestorm of debate, leaving citizens, watchdog organizations, and the opposition clamouring for transparency and accountability in a state that desperately needs it.

The staggering saga begins with the initial disbursement of N29.6 billion in 2021, ostensibly intended to provide the much-needed infrastructure support for the Agro Cargo Airport project, nestled in the town of Iperu.

However, it was in 2022 that the fiscal shockwave hit, as the state government unleashed an astounding N52.5 billion towards the construction of the same project.

The startling financial figures came to light through a meticulous investigation of the Ogun State government’s e-procurement website, as of October 2023 by PLATFORM TIMES.

The website however, has been shut down when checked on Saturday.

Further investigation showed that the project  located within an aerotropolis with a land allocation of c.5, 000 hectares,  began  March 2021 and  was aimed at  providing  at least 25,000 jobs.

Abiodun had in his remarks,  said the airport was a category 4E airport and one of the best constructed airports in the country.

He said  “It can accommodate an A3 80, a Boeing 777 and a Boeing 747. “It has a four-kilometre runway, a 36-metre control tower, fire station, cargo airport and terminal buildings.23 Feb 2023.”

“The agro cargo airport will have positive effects on hotels and warehouses being constructed in the area. The Nigeria Customs and the Nigerian Air Force are coming there.”

The information unveiled therein was nothing short of jaw-dropping, with a colossal N80 billion seemingly vanishing into the labyrinth of the Agro Cargo Airport project within two years.

The demand for a thorough and exhaustive audit of the Agro Cargo Airport’s finances is gaining momentum among concerned citizens, civil society organizations, and political rivals, who insist that such a monumental allocation of taxpayers’ money warrants meticulous oversight.

Adding fuel to the fire is a damning report by BudgIT, an influential budget transparency watchdog, which painted Ogun State in dark hues of opaqueness and fiscal mismanagement.


Agro Cargo Airport Not Owned By Ogun – Investigation 

In a surprising turn of events, an investigation into the ownership of the Ogun State Agro Cargo Airport has revealed that this critical infrastructure project is not under the direct ownership of Ogun State.

The airport’s ownership is attributed to a private company with an illustrious track record in executing projects in developed countries, including the United States, and its prominent figure, Ogunlesi, who happens to be a native of the state.

Ogunlesi, widely recognized for his exceptional achievements, has strong familial ties to Ogun State, where his father is a well-known figure.

His reputation as a big contractor with a history of constructing airports around the world has earned him both local and international acclaim.

The Agro Cargo Airport venture represents a collaborative effort between Ogun State government and Ogunlesi’s private company.

It operates under the framework of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), an approach commonly employed for large-scale infrastructure projects.

However, the investigation has illuminated the fact that the ownership structure primarily rests in the hands of the private company, with the state’s involvement extending to providing essential infrastructure support, such as access roads and land.

While the identity of Ogunlesi’s private company remains undisclosed in the investigation, the full extent of the negotiation or contract between this private entity and the Ogun State government is yet to be detailed.

This revelation has sparked discussions and questions regarding the dynamics of this partnership and the implications for Ogun State’s development and economy.

As the investigation unfolds, the public eagerly awaits further insights into the complex ownership structure of the Agro Cargo Airport, and how this partnership may influence the airport’s operation and benefits to the state.

This development underscores the significance of transparency and accountability in such critical infrastructure projects, as well as the need for the state government to fulfill its obligations under the partnership to ensure the project’s success.


…Foreign Investors Sam Iwuajoku, Herbert Wigwe Allegedly Brought In to Acquire Airport


In an exclusive Investigation, PLATFORM TIMES, has uncovered a purported alliance between foreign investors, Sam Iwuajoku of Afri Infrastructure, and Herbert Wigwe, a prominent figure in Access Bank.

This alliance, it seems, was forged with the intention of acquiring the Ogun Cargo Airport, a critical infrastructure project in the region.

The alleged involvement of Ogun State’s governor in facilitating this arrangement has raised concerns and questions about the privatization of public assets.

Sources within the state government have hinted that Sam Iwuajoku and Herbert Wigwe had made several visits to the Ogun Cargo Airport over the past few months.

These visits reportedly culminated in a deal that has remained undisclosed to the public.

The exact terms and conditions of this agreement, however, remain shrouded in secrecy, fueling speculation about its nature and implications for the airport’s future.

Furthermore, Herbert Wigwe’s name has been associated with another major infrastructure project in the region.

It has come to light that he played a significant role in funding the construction of the Epe Mojoda road for tolling purposes, a project that has stirred controversy in the past due to concerns about the financial burden it places on commuters.

This revelation raises questions about the motivations behind the involvement of private investors in public projects.

Critics argue that privatizing critical infrastructure like airports and roads can lead to a lack of transparency and accountability.

They express concerns about how these developments may affect the access and affordability of public services, such as transportation and logistics.

PLATFORM TIMES  has reached out to the office of the Ogun State governor and the representatives of Sam Iwuajoku and Herbert Wigwe for comments on these allegations but has not received any response at the time of this report.

The public awaits further details on the agreement and its potential consequences for Ogun Cargo Airport and Epe Mojoda road, both of which are essential to the region’s economic development.


… Ogun Govt. Reacts

Apparently giving the updates on the Airport, the Special Assistant to the governor on new media, Emmanuel Ojo shared some materials both text and pictures on some WhatApp groups.

The statement read “substantial progress has been made at the Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport. As evidenced by the attached images, both the Terminal building and Control Towers are rapidly approaching completion.

“We are meticulous in our pursuit of excellence, ensuring every aspect of these critical structures adheres to the highest industry standards.

“This milestone achievement marks a significant step forward in our endeavor to establish the Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport as a premier hub for agricultural export and import activities.”

However, attempts to get reactions of the government on how the N80bn was spent and the ownership of the project failed.

Both the  Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Ade Adesanya and Chief Press  Secretary to the governor, Lekan Adeniran had yet to to respond to the messages sent to them as of the time of filing this report .

PLATFORM TIMES reliably gathered that the state government since it asumed office almost five years had been keeping the figures of it’s projects including the Airport and roads construction away from the public .

PLATFORM TIMES also gathered that the state government had never disclosed the amount of it’s Internally Generally Revenue on monthly basis .

The government has  only declared the annual sum of the IGR .


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