From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
A sociopolitical group in Osun state, ‘Osun Mastermind Group,’ recently challenged Governor Adegboyega to declare the debt profile of the state and explain how the monies were spent.
The Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, had June 16, 2016, granted a mandamus order compelling Aregbesola to provide information about the debt profile of the state and defrayment modality.
The order was sought by a human rights lawyer, Mr Kanmi Ajibola. But, Aregbesola who was the governor did not obey the order till the expiration of his tenure in 2018.
The recent demand by the group has therefore generated reactions from the camp of former governor and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, as one of the aides to the ex-governor, Dr Wale Bolorunduro, accused the state governor under Oyetola of being behind the group, saying there is the mischief in the demand of the group.
The former Commissioner of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget under Aregbesola, Bolorunduro, alleged that governor Oyetola and his boys are sponsoring the group to expose his predecessor, Aregbesola.
“Governor Oyetola started his bubble game of playing debit card to stain his predecessor. So such request from The Osun Mastermind is suspicious especially when the same group is providing answers to the same questions, posed for Oyetola to respond.
“With such an amorphous and ambivalent behaviour, we know it is Oyetola and his boys that are masterminding them. One does not know their knowledge of finance, which shall be unravelled soon.
I don’t have a beef with him disclosing the current level of debt but he should also disclose the opening balances of the debt components as of 27th November 2018, when he became a Governor.
“All that we know was that the components of the debt portfolio handed over to Oyetola are all developmental, long term Finance at a weighted average interest rate of 11.74 per cent. None of the debt was bank loan or contract finance, whose rate is usually above 20 per cent.
“So Oyetola should tell us also when the debt started to become unsustainable. Is it after the completion of conventional bond and Sukuk in July 2019 and April 2020 respectively? Is it when his revenue and IGR have gone up or when he started procuring contract finance and short term, unquoted private bond issuance? Is it when he started receiving refunds on the roads to the tune of N17.5b in 2020? or when he started to sell the assets and investments of the state?
According to Bolorunduro, Aregbesola released the debt profile sometime in September 2018 before the expiration of his tenure through the office of the Accountant General of the state and the State’s indebtedness stood at N170.6 billion made up of N141.1 domestic debt and N29.5 multilateral (external) debt.