Sunday, October 19, 2014 6:49 pm
Former Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state has faulted the allegation by his successor, Governor Ayo Fayose that he left the state account in the red.
Olayinka Oyebode, his former Chief Press Secretary, in a press statement entitled “Gov Fayose’s Wild Allegations: The Need to set the record straight,” debunked the allegations of financial recklessness and huge indebtedness levelled against Fayemi’s administration by Fayose.
Fayose made the allegation in his inaugural speech where he put the state’s debt profile at N57billion.
A day earlier, he had, as Oyebode wrote, put the figure at N89billion during a television interview, in addition to the various unprintable words he used to describe the Fayemi administration in the state, “all in an attempt to paint a dismally poor state of finance for the state.”
On the contrary, Oyebode put the indebtedness of the state as at October 15th, 2014 at N36.3 billion
Of this amount N7.8 billion represents foreign loans incurred by previous government since the days of the Old Ondo State.
The remaining sum of N28.4 billion, he explained, represents internal loan. This include inherited loans from previous government and outstanding balance of the bond taken at the Capital Market.
“In spite of this, the Federal Government is owing the state the sum of N17.7billion. This include N10.8 billion(amount due from construction of federal roads); N4 billion (refund on Paris Club) and N2.8 billion (amount due on ecological projects).If the Federal Government would graciously effect part of this payment, the debt profile of the state would have been greatly reduced,” Oyebode wrote.
Oyebode added: “While Mr Fayose alleged that the state account was in red, the state bank balances as at October 15th stood at N1.9 billion. This comprised N1.46 billion (state account) and N466.9 million (local government account). Also the Bond Sinking Fund Account balance as at September stood at N3 billion.”
“Nothing could be farther from the truth than Mr. Fayose’s allegation that none of the MDA’s account had up to One million naira. For instance, the Ministry of Agriculture’s account is in the excess of N90million, while the MDG account has close to One billion naira”, said the former CPS.
He argued further that there is no responsible leader in Nigeria today that will not acknowledge the poor state of the country’s economy, a development that has made it difficult for the Federal Government to meet its obligations to the federating states.
In the last two years, he said, states on many occasions have had to leave the monthly FAAC meetings empty handed, like they did last week. This is in addition to a huge reduction in the amount given to the states.
“In Ekiti State for instance, the federal allocation to the state has dropped by about N480million monthly since the beginning of the year and this has placed a huge strain on government finances. The government has had to resort to bank facilities in order to augment the now insufficient allocation and pay workers salaries as well as meet other obligations,” he argued.
Oyebode maintained that the Fayemi –led administration had in 2011 approached the Capital Market where it raised a N25billion bond which it spent on infrastructure projects which are regenerative in nature.
“Of the sum, about N14 billion has been repaid through the laid down repayment regime. The outstanding balance of the bond money forms part of the N28billion debt profile according to the state’s audited accounts which was published in some national newspapers last week.”
He described as dubious Fayose’s claims that the former administration owed two months salaries.
The only salary being owed the state workers is that of September and the development was sequel to the reluctance of banks to give the state facilities following sundry allegations of collaboration levelled against the banks by Fayose.
“In all this, the Debt Management Office (DMO), a Federal Government agency, still rates Ekiti State as one of the least indebted states in the country,” he added.