Why Oyo is spending CBN’s N7.6bn loan on farm settlements —Makinde

THE government of Oyo State has condemned what it called certain “misinformation, misconception and outright mischief” in the interpretations being given to the N7.6 billion agriculture loan, which the state government on Thursday secured the nod of the state House of Assembly to access.

A statement by Mr Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, indicated that the government had equally noticed the “deliberate misconceptions and misinformation on the loan facility,” saying it was an attempt to colour the truth to confuse the unsuspecting members of the public.

The statement maintained that the administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi had obtained the said loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria and that Governor Makinde, had, in the interest of the state, prevented the past government from squandering the loan at the twilight of the administration.

The statement read: “Governor Makinde is not seeking a fresh loan. The action that was taken by the House of Assembly of Oyo State on Thursday was to give the legislative nod to the state government to access the fund that had already been domiciled with the government since the days of ex-Governor Ajimobi.

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“The governor’s decision to approach the House of Assembly was a mark of his belief in due process, the rule of law and its processes. Ordinarily, some state executives would just have proceeded to spend the funds since it was already in the coffers of the state, but Governor Makinde won’t do that.

“Sometime in 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved some funds under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) for disbursement to four states including Ekiti, Osun, Oyo and Abia.

“Somehow, the immediate past administration of Governor Ajimobi chose to delay access to that money until April 2019 when the governorship election of 2019 had been won and lost. That government intended to expend the said money on the purchase of “agriculture equipment” in less than two months to the end of its tenure.

“It was the spirit of activism in Seyi Makinde that prodded him to smell a rat in the plan to access that money in the twilight of Ajimobi’s administration and that informed the suit filed by then governor-elect Makinde at the High Court of Oyo State to secure an injunction restraining the then governor from accessing that money.

“In effect, the decision by Makinde to stall the access of Ajimobi’s government to the N7.6 billion was not only well-considered, but also completely in the interest of the people of Oyo State.

“He has, therefore, come to the decision to devote the said loan to the reconstruction and standardisation of the farm settlements in Eruwa and Akufo area of Ibadan.”

According to the statement, the two farm settlements are to be built into farm estates in line with the vision of the Makinde administration to ensure the utilisation of the agriculture value chain for economic expansion and to boost of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

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