Fayose's allegation on Ekiti debt profile, hasty, false - Fayemi

By The Citizen

The media was awash last Friday with allegations of financial recklessness and huge indebtedness by the immediate past government, Dr Kayode Fayemi, levelled against him by the newly inaugurated Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose.

In a statement by Fayemi's Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, the former governor says the allegations are false.

Governor Fayose had in his inaugural speech put the state's debt profile at N57bn. A day earlier, he had put the figure at N89bn during a television interview. This is in addition to the various unprintable words he used to describe the immediate past administration in the state, all in an attempt to paint a dismally poor state of finance for the state.

It said, 'Although the erstwhile Commissioner for Information, Mr Tayo Ekundayo has responded to the puerile allegations and orchestrated lies, it has become necessary to provide additional details to that earlier reaction.

'The concern here is the general public that could be misled by the fraudulent claims all and deliberate distortions of facts and figures in an attempt to invent excuses for imminent poor performance in office.

'For the avoidance of doubt, the indebtedness of the state as at October 15th, 2014 is N36,316,017,758.93. Of this amount, the sum of N7,830,636,440.62 represents foreign loans incurred by previous government since the days of the Old Ondo State.

'The remaining sum of N28, 485,381,316.31 represents internal loan. This include inherited loans from previous government and outstanding balance (debt) of the bond taken at the Capital Market.

'In spite of this, the Federal Government is owing the state the sum of N17,710,728,299.06. This include N10,839,493,135.63 (amount due from construction of federal roads); N4,012,384,082.60 (refund on Paris Club) and N2,858,851,080.83 (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 argued that Fayose was hasty in making a pronouncement on the state of the state's finances and other matters without first going through the handing over note which contains explicit details of government transactions and financial situation. Nothing can be more mischievous and irresponsible than this.

He added that while Fayose alleged that the state account was in red, the state bank balances as at October 15, 2014 stood at N1,930,739,725.84.

Oyebode explained that this comprised N1,463,805,908.56 (state account) and N466,933,817.28 (local government account). Also the Bond Sinking Fund Account balance as at September stood at N3,019,987,424.03.

It said, 'In Ekiti State for instance, the federal allocation to the state has dropped by about N480m 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.

'As a government that is committed to the welfare of the citizens, the Fayemi -led administration had in 2011 approached the Capital Market where it raised a N25bn bond which it spent on infrastructure projects which are regenerative in nature. Of the sum, about N14bn has been repaid through the laid down repayment regime. The outstanding balance of the bond money forms part of the N28bn debt profile according to the state's audited accounts which was published in some national newspapers last week.

'It is also pertinent to state that the governor's claims that the former administration owed two months salaries is dubious. 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, a Federal Government agency, still rates Ekiti State as one of the least indebted states in the country.

'It would appear, however, that the new governor is ill prepared for the job at hand. His hasty approach to governance without paying due cognisance to decorum and tact would succeed only in exposing his incapability and further ridiculing the state.

'Our advice to him: Stop this comedy of errors. Pursue substance.' NAN