•All debts ‘ll be settled –Gov
Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Osun chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of feeding the public with falsehood concerning the state’s debt profile and outstanding projects he is not likely to complete before leaving the office in November.
The state chapter of the opposition party said this against the backdrop of Aregbesola’s appearance on this year’s edition of “Ogbeni Till Daybreak” programme.
Osun PDP Chairman, Soji Adagunodo, in a statement in Osogbo yesterday, dismissed the governor’s claims, describing the event as a jamboree and a night of shame and falsehood.
“It was another all-night dance of shame on Friday as the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola held his once-in-a-season jamboree called Ogbeni Till Daybreak.
“In his usual indecent manner, the governor, while responding to questions from newsmen, resorted to a series of diatribes and falsehoods which were meant to cover his tracks of lack of vision, incompetence and corruption-laden seven and half years of governance.”
“We have therefore found it pertinent to respond to a few of Mr governor’s falsehoods on the programme in order to set the records straight and help members of the public have a better understanding of the issues in focus,” the statement added.
“In answer to questions on the true state of our indebtedness, Ogbeni Aregbesola, who put the total debt of the state at N171.4 billion, stated that the various debts would be fully paid by 2020. In particular, the governor said N30 billion, being conventional bond, will be fully liquidated in November 2019, while another N11.4 billion, being SUKUK loan, would be fully paid one year later.
“These claims are certainly false and misleading. The truth is that there is N88.6 billion which the Federal Government helped Osun state restructure as bonds, the full payment of which runs to 2034. There is also another N30 billion bond with an equal lifespan which was not disclosed by the governor. What about the N39.4 billion bail-out funds?
“Also in March last year, the (state) government obtained a $65 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank for a water project repayable in 25 years. Did this escape the memory of Mr. Governor? The truth is that, contrary to the assertion of the governor, Osun will be paying some of the loans obtained by the Aregbesola administration till 2042.”
Regardless, Aregbesola has assured that all the loans would be settled next year and explained that the conventional loan would be settled next year, while the N11.4 billion Sukuk would be fully paid back in 2020.
He also disclosed that the total debt is N143.6 billion, against the false figures being circulated by members of the opposition party in the state.
This was contained in a statement by the Commissioner for information, Lani Baderinwa, yesterday.
Aregbesola also said the state’s debt profile is not as bad as being speculated, and maintained that the loans were taken to finance capital projects for the development of the state.
He said: “The reason we borrowed for infrastructure development and not for investment is simple; in a liberal economy like ours, government has no business doing business. The responsibility of government is to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”