OSUN State governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on Thursday said the state is currently indebted to the tune of N407.32 billion.
The governor, who made this known while speaking during a meeting with the state traditional rulers in Osogbo, said: “I am reporting to our people through our traditional rulers that the total debt profile inherited by my administration from Governor Oyetola’s administration is to the tune of N407.32 billion. The governor told the royal fathers that his administration inherited eight outstanding loan facilities, apart from salaries and pension debts, adding that the repayment period ranges from 16 months to about 28 years.
He said: “The largest portion of these loans was taken after the July 16 election which former Governor Oyetola lost and there is no information on the repayment terms.
“Not one kobo of this loan was left in government coffers when the deputy governor and I resumed work on Monday, November 29. There is also no explanation on how the loan was expended. These are foreign loans of $86.2 million.
“There is also no information on the repayment terms. My good people of Osun State, the total loan stock as of today [Thursday] is N331.32 billion.”
The governor added that, “when the N76 billion debt on salaries and pensions are added, the state is indebted to the tune of N407.32 billion.
“The amount owed contractors is yet to be determined and the only fund in government coffers as of Monday, November 29 was for November salary, otherwise, the state treasury was empty. “As your governor, I will ask questions on your behalf, and will demand answers.
“Former Governor Oyetola must explain how the N331 billion borrowed in the name of Osun State was expended, with no obvious infrastructural development to justify this huge debt. “Governor Oyetola must explain how the N18 billion Bridge loan taken after he lost the election on July 16 was expended.
“Governor Oyetola must also explain why Osun State is owing salaries and pension to the tune of N76 billion after collecting a N50 billion salary bailout loan from the Federal Government.
“The creditors, especially commercial banks, must explain why various loans were given to an administration beyond its four-year tenure.
“Twenty-eight years is equivalent to the tenure of at least four governors. A child who is born today would have earned a PhD at 28 years of age. This is nothing but mortgaging the future of Osun State with nothing to show for it. This is definitely not acceptable,” Governor Adeleke said.
He listed other loans as Budget Support Facility which outstanding balance is put at N51.8 billion, with monthly repayment of N154.9 million and repayable period outstanding of 335 months, which is 27 years and nine months; Salary Bailout Loan, outstanding balance: N38.8 billion, with monthly repayment of N232.77 million and repayable period outstanding of 167 months (13 years nine months) and Restructured Commercial Bank Loans, outstanding balance of N158.77 billion, among other loans.
Meanwhile, Ismail Omipidan, media aide to ex-Governor Gboyega Oyetola, has disclosed for the umpteenth time that his principal never took any bank facility for the four years he served as governor. He noted that the debt in question was incurred during the administration of Rauf Aregbesola.
Omipidan further described the claim by the new governor that Oyetola took N18 billion loan facility as not only outlandish but unfounded, insisting that the claim was made out of sheer ignorance and mischief.
He then challenged Governor Adeleke to publish details of the outstanding loan facilities he claimed his administration inherited and the years they were procured.
Omipidan said the government is out to smear and blackmail Oyetola’s personality, but that Osun citizens and Nigerians from far and near know the truth.
“When talking about loans, you cannot talk of maturity date without talking about the dates they were procured.
“It is either that those who prepared the speech for the governor to read did not understand the implications of their position or they did it out of sheer mischief to expose their principal or both. Otherwise, if they had read and understood my principal’s farewell speech very well, they would not have alleged that he took N18 billion loan.
“Again, even in the table they released by themselves, they contradicted themselves. Take a look at Item seven on their list, they captured the N3 billion monthly as having commenced from December 2021 and that it came for six months. Yet, they claim the same N18 billion was accessed after the July election. You see why I said they are either confused or are out for mischief or even both.
“In the third paragraph of the speech from the rear, my principal had said ‘for four years, we did not take any bank loan facility. But we benefitted from the N3 billion monthly intervention from the Federal Government for six months to cushion the effect of deductions of budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous administration, just as we have paid N97 billion from the total debt we inherited in 2018.
“I want to believe that is what they have now twisted to call loan. This intervention was extended to all the 36 states of the Federation, and the monthly N3 billion for six months came before the July 16 governorship election. This is a fact that can be verified.
“Let me restate here that we never took any bank facility, and we challenge the government to publish balances of all bank accounts belonging to the State as of November 26, 2022. When the Oyetola administration took over in 2018, we inherited humongous debt but we never complained or made excuses. What we did was to get to work and find means of making things work for the four years we have governed Osun and we reduced the debts we inherited by N97 billion.
“By the way, Governor Adeleke announced the freezing of all government accounts on November 27 when he took over. Till date, he is yet to announce that he has unfrozen the accounts. Yet, they have been spending from state government coffers since then. So, where is the money coming from? This is where you will know that those around the governor are a bunch of liars who are not prepared for governance but preparing grounds for excuses and non-performance,” Omipidan added.