From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and his predecessor, Ayo Fayose, yesterday, exchanged verbal invectives over the state’s debt profile.
While Fayemi has put the debt figure at N155,791,785,214.08, Fayose insisted the figure remains below N60 billion and accused Fayemi of being responsible for the debt as a result of borrowing in his first tenure.
Delivering the State of the State address at the House of Assembly, yesterday, Fayemi said N155,791,785,214.08 is the total debt profile of Ekiti, as at October 16, 2018.
Fayemi said he inherited “a state that was in total chaos and a people severely disorientated under a suppressive government who had raised and promoted deceit into statecraft.”
The governor spoke just as Speaker Adediran Alagbada lamented that the immediate past administration of Fayose denied lawmakers their salaries and furniture allowances; despite making appropriation which covered such expenses.
The governor stated that his administration has distanced itself from “political witch-hunting and media trials to score cheap political goals” but decided to give the State of the State address; in order to use the “lessons of the past to create the future of our dreams”.
Fayemi disclosed that Ekiti, under Fayose, received N184.83 billion as income between 2014 and 2018; and that the former governor had no reason to owe salaries, given the huge revenue which accrued to the state during the immediate past administration.
Giving a breakdown of the debt profile, Fayemi said although borrowing is in itself not a bad thing, borrowing to fund self-serving and unproductive projects is unpatriotic.
He gave the breakdown of the debt as follows:
Loans and bonds N57,694,460,298.79; salary arrears N16,777,257,608.52; outstanding leave bonus N4,402,585,167.53; corpers allowances N28,883,959.00; outstanding subventions N4,770,676,870.98; pension and gratuity arrears N39,775,919,872.02, and outstanding contractors claims N28,575,946,572.25.
Others include Outstanding furniture allowance N470,266,137.09; severance allowance N586,144,167.51; monitised vehicle arrears N101,243,387.24; outstanding warrants N386,77,450.64; outstanding FIRS obligation N184,215,623.43; Traditional rulers arrears N150,214,204.10; judgement debts N95,048,963.35 and other outstanding liabilities N1,792,144,931.62.
Fayemi said the debt profile was a product of the audit carried out by a private audit firm.
Reacting to Fayemi’s claims, Fayose’s media aide Lere Olayinka, denied the claims and added that the governor told lies to cover up his failure in 100 days.
Olayinka said no amount of falsehood can diminish the outstanding achievements of the Fayose led government, adding that; “When a governor goes about advertising signing of 2019 budget as a major programme of his 100 days in office, such a governor should be pitied and, on this one, we can only pray for the reconstruction of the lying mind of Dr. Fayemi.
“On September 8, 2018, Fayemi said Ekiti debt was N117 billion. On October 17, 2018, the same Fayemi claimed the debt was N170 billion. Today, he is talking about N155 billion, so, which one should the public believed?”
Olayinka insisted that Ekiti is not committed to any financial institution in form of bonds and commercial loans, pointing out that the state’s indebtedness is under N60 billion.
the debt was either directly incurred during Fayemi’s first tenure or as a result of the loans restructuring done at the instance of the federal government and the Federal Economic Council.
He gave the breakdown as follows; Commercial Bank Loan, N2,087,788,065.28; CBN Grant for Water Project, N163,450,000; Excess Crude Account Backed Loan, N9,545,173,472.78; Bailout, N9,083,761,215.40; FGN Bonds, N18,226,699,707.18; State Bonds,
N3,484,469,345.51 and Budget Support, N16,869,000,000.
Olayinka, who said having failed in his first 100 days, it was not too late for Fayemi to stay in Ado Ekiti and govern the State instead of turning himself to a “Diaspora Governor”, running Ekiti from Abuja, added that “he (Fayemi) is reputed for cooking up figures to perpetrate digital stealing and that explained his N700 million website as Minister of Mines and Steel Development.”
Meanwhile governor Fayemi stated that he had used the first 100 days of his administration to “lay the needed foundation to restore our values and restore Ekiti State to its rightful position in the comity of States”.
“This is our first stewardship in the series of others to be witnessed in the life of this administration in the fulfilment of our obligation to Ekiti people. As a government, we are more interested in building and strengthening institutions rather than wielding powers or self aggrandizement. This is the world best practice in governance and we are proud to thread that path to attain speedy economic recovery and value restoration for Ekiti State”, he said.
He called on corporate organisations, donor agencies, the federal government and Ekiti people to support his administration in moving Ekiti State forward “economically, socially and politically”.
Speaking on the forthcoming election, Fayemi urged everyone to play by the rules and be law abiding; urging Ekiti people to use the election to consolidate the gains of his administration in the last 100 days.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Adeniran Alagbada said Ekiti people have now got “new hope through the policies and programmes of the Fayemi-led government”.
Alagbada who said the 100 days of Fayemi in government is “better than the four years of Fayose” called on Ekiti people to rally support for the governor to succeed.
He lamented the poor treatment meted out to members of the House by the fayose administration, inspite of their support for the former Governor.
He said, the House had it on record that it made appropriation for for all government expemses and that it was sad that despite their support the former Governor denied them their salaries, allowances and furniture allowances were well provided for in the four budgets they passed during the duration of the administration.