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N115b debt: Oyo government can’t be trusted, says SDP


Abiola Ajimobi, Governor of Oyo State

The opposition in Oyo State has claimed that the admission of the state government that it has a huge debt profile to the sum of N115B has clearly marked it as being untrustworthy and lacking transparency in its handling of public funds entrusted to it.

A statement from the Media Office of the Oyo State branch of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was signed and released in Ibadan, the state capital on Tuesday by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Akeem Azeez on Tuesday, warned the people of the state not to trust the government to render transparent accounts and the true position of things regarding the state’s finances.

It also said that the plan to expend 60% of the Paris Refund Funds to offset workers’ salaries and pension arrears is not generous, considering the huge sum of accumulated salaries’ arrears.

“The state Governor himself has stated so many times that the wage bills of the state workers is between 4-5 Billion Naira monthly, so in essence, it will only be able to offset just a month’s salary from the funds.

The party also advised that the state government should state specifically the projects it intends to expend the 40% balance of the refunds on so that the people of the state can effectively monitor them (projects).

According to the statement, the government has denied severally the true position of the state’s debt burden in the past, while bandying around figures that can at best be described as the figment of the imagination of certain people who are hellbent on deceiving the people of the state.

The statement states; “We have said a few months ago to those who cared to listen, that the debt profile of the state was about N115B at the time, but the state governor denied this vehemently.

“The State Commissioner of Finance, Mr Abimbola Adekanmbi, in a live Radio Programme over the weekend even accused the opposition of ”banding around figures for mischief with malicious intent for cheap political gain” and that about 80% of its much-touted debt profile by political opponents is made up of salaries, gratuities, pensions and wages owed workers and pensioners in the state.

“Even the state governor, Senator Ajimobi, on May 29, 2017, during the 6th year anniversary of his administration, publicly announced to the people of the state that its debt profile is a paltry N4 Billion.

The tersely worded statement added that with the whooping debt burden of the state, its impact on the future of the state and its residents will be devastating, especially for the incoming government that will take over from the Ajimobi administration.

“The state Government are laying a lot of banana peels for the incoming administration, who will be bogged down with a huge debt burden that will hardly allow it settle down to govern.

“We advise the state government not to begin another round of white elephant projects that will be abandoned midway, especially the much trumpeted N50b endowment to upgrade health facilities is a farce and political gimmick. A Greek gift which is dead on arrival”.

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