Oyo technically bankrupt, not creditworthy ― Makinde

Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde made this revelation when the governing council and management of the University of Ibadan, led by its pro-chancellor, Waklek Mutka, visited him at governor’s office, Ibadan, on Tuesday.

If likened to a private entity, Makinde said the state government’s financial status was such that he will not lend the state a dime and ask the company to begin to wind down.

To keep the government running, Makinde said he had, since assumption of office, been seeking all avenues to get money.

This revelation is coming days after Makinde had alleged that the immediate past administration led by former Governor Abiola Ajimobi left at debt burden of at least N150 billion, while the books were still being opened.

Pointing to a meeting with the state Bureau of Internal Revenue on its sources of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Makinde decried that federal institutions in the state, like the University of Ibadan, were not contributing enough to the government through its Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

“When I came in, we were looking for ways to keep the government running because technically the government of Oyo state is bankrupt.

“If I take it as a private entity, I won’t lend a dime to the government of Oyo state. I will ask them to start winding up proceedings. So, we have been looking for ways to keep the government running. We have been beaming our searchlight on areas we can get money.

“The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) came to me and said they had issue of PAYE with the University of Ibadan. And at the governor’s forum, I saw a document where a lot of the states got a huge refund from PAYE due to the federal institutions located in such states.

“I believe Ogun state got about N8billion; another state in the South West got N10 billion, and Oyo state got only about N91million. Then, I wondered what was going on here. They told me that it was work in progress and that they had been talking and did not have cooperation from the University of Ibadan.

“I can give you the assurance that this is something for the federal government to refund to us. All we need to do is open the books and see what has gone on and have an agreement. I told the Chairman of BIR that himself and myself will come and meet with the University of Ibadan to get money. We will utilize such money immediately to do things that will lift our environment,” Makinde said.

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Speaking further, he bemoaned the parlous state of Agbowo shopping complex, Ibadan, describing it as an eyesore and a security threat to the University.

He however assured that the state government will make public its plan to revamp the structure for productivity within 100 days in office.

Makinde also assured of collaboration with the university in areas of research and public-private partnership.

“The Agbowo shopping complex in front of the university is an eyesore. It is a lot of money that was sunk in there and we are not getting any value. As a matter of fact, that structure is a security threat to the university community.

“We are looking at it and I am sure before we mark our 100 days, there will be a pronouncement on how we intend to turn that shopping complex into something that brings benefit to the university community and residents of the state in general,” Makinde added.

In his remarks, pro-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Waklek Mutka assured of continued collaboration with the state government in areas of research.

While appreciating Makinde’s recent donation of N25million to the university, Waklek held that the university needed more federal and state government support if the university is to sufficiently meet its obligations.

Consequently, he prayed the Makinde led the state government to continue to support the university.

He however assured that the university community will continue to meet its obligations of uplifting the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens of the state, and the country at large.

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