By Hannah Nathan, Warri
Dangote Cement has come under fire from the Ogun State administration for reportedly demolishing a primary school there without notifying any state government agency.
According to information obtained, Elefon Primary School in the state’s Ewekoro Local Government Area was closed since it was located inside the company’s mining concession.
Yusuf Amosun, a furious member of the state House of Assembly from the Ewekoro state constituency, voiced concerns about the situation on Tuesday during plenary.
Under the pretence that the school was within their recently acquired mining jurisdiction, the legislator urged that the firm demolish the school without notifying any government body.
Olakunle Oluomo, the Speaker of the Assembly, denounced the school’s demolition in response to this complaint.
The leader of the House has now established an ad hoc committee, whose members are Sunday Wasiu, Lukmon Atobatele, and Seun Adesanya. The committee will convene to discuss the issue with all relevant parties and provide a report to the Assembly. The committee will be chaired by Deputy Speaker Bolanle Ajayi.
The company had blocked the school grounds some time ago, but the government swiftly intervened, according to Abayomi Arigbabu, the Commissioner for Education, who confirmed the development when called.
The Commissioner expressed astonishment that the company had proceeded to demolish the same school, despite Governor Dapo Abiodun’s insistence that the corporation “must not do anything within the school premises.”
Asked whether he knew that Mr Arigbabu added that although the company possessed mission noto mine near the school, the government was unaware of this licence.
“When we first learned about the school, we stopped them because the government owns it.”
Yomi Gbadebo, the company’s Special Duty and External Affairs Officer, and Francis Brown, the manager of media and communication, did not return calls or messages of inquiry.
However, the people living in the Elefon hamlet are pleading with the government to urgently reconstruct the school as soon as possible.