According to Thisday papers, a multinational company operating in Ogun state, (International Breweries), has refuted claims that they are contaminating the three rivers in Orille-Imo, in the Obafemi-Owode area of the State. These rivers serve as the main source of water supply for the inhabitants
In a letter to newsmen, the company stated that at no time did they pollute the waters of the communities. Temitope Oguntokun, who is the Legal and corporate Affairs director insisted that they follow international best water practices in their daily operations, both internally and externally.
A report published Monday, indicted the company, accusing them of contaminating the waters which serves as drinking water for the people of the communities. The report titled, ‘Multinational Brewery’s wastewater contaminates Ogun communities’ water sources, destroys aquatic life’, was believed to have been published on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
According to the report, residents of the communities accused the company of nonchalant attitude towards environmental protection and aquatic lives.They lamented that the company does not have their interests at heart, but only thinks of its image. They also claimed that they, the communities, relied on three ancient rivers – Ereku, Yemala, and Yeke as sources of seemingly good water for drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing before the arrival of the firm
However, the company stated that they have done so much for the community. They said;
“Despite this situation, followed by complaints from the community members that the borehole was not serving them, IBPLC mobilized another contractor to the site in August 2023, for the installation of a new borehole – this work is ongoing.”
On other amenities provided for the communities, which she said was in line with the international organization’s corporate social responsibility, Oguntokun revealed, “We provided a 300KVA ONAN oil-immersed step-down transformer and 415V overhead distribution line to Bara community and environs, which resolved the power supply (and attendant) challenges and boosted the economic landscape for over 1,000 inhabitants of the community.
“Donation of a solar-powered borehole to the Primary Health Centre in Owode Local Government area in 2018.
“Empowerment of 10 youths from different communities across Orile – Imo villages, under the IBPLC Kickstart initiative in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University.
“Between 2019–2022, 10 youths received training, one-year mentoring, and a total grant of N11.6 million to start or grow their businesses.”
With the gravity of such accusations, and the endemic levels of curruption that has crippled all parastatals of the Nigerian government, observers are worried that even if an independent probing body is succesfully formed to investigate the criminal allegations, the poor victims of Ogun state, may likely face a more harrowing reality of a state unavailable to protect its citizens from possibly, another parasitic foreign firm
IMAGE: Eagle watch