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'N40B DEBT WILL SPUR FAYEMI,' SAYS DEPUTY GOV

By NBF News
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THE Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, yesterday said the N40 billion debt burden of the state had made the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration more creative and determined to tackle the challenges confronting the state.

Olayinka said the government remained daunted by the debt profile it inherited from the court-ousted administration of Mr. Segun Oni, disclosing that the state was fashioning ways of shoring up its internally generated revenue to supplement its low federal allocation.

At a media conference marking the 100 days of the Fayemi administration in the state, Olayinka posited that Ekiti would soon recover from its debt burden through the holistic approach being employed by the state government.

The deputy governor disclosed that the state had initiated a partnership with the British Department for International Development (DFID), which she said was now in Ekiti for feasibility studies on how to develop the state.

Olayinka said: 'Though, as much as we are not comfortable with the N40 billion debt, this government will not be weighed down by it. We are taking initiative on how to develop the state by increasing its IGR, which is a strong criterion in allocation formula and we are partnering with international agencies on how to save the state from perennial poverty.'

She also disclosed that a Contract Review Committee had been set up by the state government to review contracts awarded by the Oni administration, assuring that some contractors would be compelled to refund some money into the state's coffers, having allegedly been paid more than the level of work done.

The deputy governor said the committee was set up following a N27 billion debt burden incurred by the immediate past administration on contracts.

She disclosed that the Fayemi administration had paid N750 million backlog of pension arrears to retirees as well as N120 million to former political office holders.

Olayinka also said that water supply in the state had increased since the advent of the current administration.

She said the government had also revoked the contracts of badly executed water concessioning programmes initiated by the former administration.