Opon Imo (Computer tablet) is a project of Osun State Government which has attracted more positive than negative comments from the public until Bola Ilori (Chairman of the Launch Committee) made a rigmarole of the subject. In Punch issue of May 23, 2013, Ilori replied a critic of the project and further proposed to us a thousand and one reasons why we should bow down and worship Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for being the originator of this idea. Ilori, in his words, further described the Opon Imo as “unique in the true sense of it because it has never been used anywhere in the world prior to its advent in Osun State…” He also added that it will abolish paper work. I am disappointed by this statement because it could only have been perceived from an illiterate point of view or a liar.
Are we to assume that Ilori hasn’t been to Europe or the USA, where the Tablet has been in use? Or the Chairman of the Launch Committee of Opon Imo is a computer illiterate and couldn’t use Google to find out if the Tablet has been in existence? I will be totally dazed if Ilori would admit to me that the Computers in his home and offices have completely abolished paper-work.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a Computer Literacy advocate and I teach Effective Use of Social Media at S.M events, so I definitely support the idea of giving computers to students, especially when it’s in regards to their Education. I however have my reservations, both in the approach and implementation of the Opon Imo project.
How would these Tablets be powered since they are designed to “abolish paper work”? Our epileptic power supply will not be adequate and solar power system is yet to become an effective alternative in Nigeria.
More so, have the students been trained on how handle these Tablets? What about the maintenance? All of these are questions Ogbeni and Ilori are yet to answer.
Now, let us do some Mathematics; the Opon Imo project was awarded to the Governor’s son, Kamoru Aregbesola at the sum of N8,300,000,000 for 50,000 pieces. Which implies that the cost of ONE tablet is N166,500. If you go online, you will see that the original cost of ONE of these Tablets is about $30, which is about N5,000.
When you multiply N5,000 by N50,000 you will get N2,500,000,000 (will be lesser when discounted). This shows that the overall scam is N5,800,000,000 while the aggregate scam per head is N161,000.
The interpretation of this is that; each time a student is given ONE Opon Imo, Kamoru Aregbesola pockets N161,000. Also, he has only supplied 3,700 out of the 50,000 pieces stated in the contract.
E je ki a ba Ifa nigbolohun (let us consult the Oracle), If Ogbeni must bring an innovative scam, he should have at least done it in a moderate style. Osun state is not only one of the poorest states in Nigeria, it is also one of the most indebted. So why is a State with a debt of over N200,000,000,000 giving students Tablets when their Teachers are home due to lack of salaries? There are workers in the State who haven’t been paid for over 5 months now.
In as much as we are trying to expose corruption in the Central, the State Governments should not be overlooked. The atrocities these Governors are committing are sometimes more grievous than that of the Federal Government.
So I ask again… Opon Imo, abi Opon Scam?