Osun's debt exaggerated-  Aregbesola

By Semiu Okanlawon

Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described as mere exaggeration the alleged heavy burden of debt hanging on the neck of the state.

Aregbesola said the N165billion debt being touted as huge debt is nothing compared with the development that the state has witnessed in the last six years.

A statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, quoted the Governor as making the observation yesterday while declaring open a one day seminar organised for information officers in local government and local council development areas and area offices across the state.

Aregbesola said if those spreading the rumour of huge debt by the state understand what governance is all about with little that God has done through his government in the state, they would know that the debt is nothing to write home about.

He stated that if the so-called N165 billion debt is divided by the 4 million population of resident of the state, the burden each person out of this debt is N2,031.25 annually.

"To analyse this alleged 165billion debt, Osun is made up of 4million people. Four million residents are here in Osun and this debt anyway has been transformed largely to a bond organised by Federal Government that would last for twenty years.

"Let us now divide N165billion by 4 million people for 20 years. To help you mathematically. This will give N2,031.25 as cost of N165billion debt to every resident of Osun per annum.

"Ironically, this debt that people are shouting and crying about summed up to N5:56K per person daily. This practically means that every Osun resident carries a burden of N5:56K per day.

"This government we are talking about that puts burden of N5:56K to every citizen of the state, thus feeds every pupil in the public school with N70 every school day.

"That government guarantees security for every citizen and the cost for security can not be determined. That government ensures that roads are increasingly getting better.

"That government provides access to rural areas. That government ensures that Osun school functions at the best form. That government guarantees water supply.

"That government guarantees sanitation. That government guarantees so much. That in practical economic terms, is far beyond what individual must have to give on a daily basis."

Meanwhile, the governor has charged Information Officers at the local government level to see themselves as information specialists and adequately report government activities on the nooks and crannies of the state.

With the theme, "The Impact of a New Partnership in Information and Management for Sustainable Development in the State of Osun," Aregbesola also charged the information officers to supply robust information about their communities at all times.

He said government has decided to put the seminar together because it will help develop their zeal and passion to write and make people understand and believe in them.

He explained that the major achievements of the present administration were recorded at the local areas, lamenting that it is worrisome that the progress made by the present government has not been adequately reported by information officers at the local government level.

He said, "Since the creation of the local councils about a year ago, we are proud to say that a lot of developments have taken place in this areas and they have witnessed more of government activities.

"As at today, we can beat our chest to the fact that a foundation for effective administration has been laid down by our government at the local government level, but it's a pity that it is being under reported.

"We have put this together because we want people who are in charge of informing the people from the grassroots to be well equipped and have the prerequisite knowledge of what is being expected of them.

"We must hear from you, we want to know what is going on in your domain, how do you feel about people not hearing you? The truth is that if you don't blow your trumpet nobody will blow it for you.

"Our major achievements have been done in the grassroots and local areas and this requires adequate reportage."