DANIEL EXPLAINS OGUN DEBTS
FORMER Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel, yesterday denied that his administration left huge debts for the state.
The state Accountant-General, Mr. Seye Adefuye, while presenting the state's financial status on Wednesday, May 25, four days before Daniel left office, disclosed that the state was indebted to the tune of N49,232,579,163.67.
Also in his inaugural address in Abeokuta on Sunday, Governor Ibikunle Amosun stated that Ogun was ranked among the highest debtor states in the country.
But in a swift reaction, Daniel, through the former state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Sina Kawonise, insisted that Amosun's statement was incorrect.
In a statement issued in Abeokuta, Daniel stated: 'As at May 28, 2011, the cash liability was made up of N13.9 billion owed banks and N12.4 billion external borrowing. The external aspect of the cash liability was the loan arranged by the Federal Government on behalf of states and it was used for national urban water schemes. All states in the federation have varying degrees of indebtedness under this arrangement. It is important to state that part of the debt was carried over from the previous administrations in the state'.
The statement added: 'The balance of the debt is the N22.7 billion contingent liabilities, which are normal liabilities incurred in the course of government's business. These include arrears of payment to contractors, pensions and gratuities, outstanding subventions to ministries, departments and agencies comprising running costs, which fell into arrears mainly because of the economic downturn which affected the cash flow position of government'.
'It is also not correct that Ogun State, as at today, has the highest level of indebtedness in the country. Contrary to the impression created by Senator Amosun, Lagos, in the past five years, has accessed N290 billion from the bond market. Rivers State has just floated a bond of N250 billion while Bayelsa has done the same to the tune of N50 billion. Osun State just got N30 billion refinancing loan from a first generation bank. Kano State just reported a debt profile of N108 billion and this is the pattern across the country', the statement added.