The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State are currently locked in a war of words over the state’s debt profile.
While the ruling PDP said the huge debts incurred by the Kayode Fayemi administration from 2010 to 2014 has gulped the state’s funds of about N35.34 billion in servicing of the debts and deductions from statutory allocations, the APC has in a reaction, denied the allegation, saying the figures put forth by the Ayo Fayose-led PDP government were inaccurate and misleading.
According to the state PDP chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, the state had been servicing the debts incurred by the Fayemi administration with an average of N1.1 billion monthly, while about 40 per cent of the state’s allocation was deducted from source monthly.
He said documents from the Debt Management Office and the Federal Ministry of Finance, agencies in charge of the debts and statutory allocations, revealed that the debts were incurred under several headings.
The party chairman further alleged that between October and December 2014, N1.71 billion was deducted from the state’s allocations to service the debts.
“In 2015, the sum of N7.85 billion was deducted from our allocations. In 2016, it was N11.30 billion, in 2017, it was N12.12 billion and from January to May this year, the sum of N4.94 billion has been deducted.
“While we have paid off the commercial agriculture credit scheme, we are yet to pay off others and some will run till 2036. The implications of this are many. If we had such a huge sum, we wouldn’t be owing workers’ salaries and more welfare programmes and projects would have been executed by the Ayodele Fayose administration.
“The debts are under these headings: Contractual obligations, fertiliser, foreign loans, bond, commercial agriculture credit scheme, water project, restructuring of bank loans, excess crude loan among others. For instance, under contractual obligations is the vehicles and buses they purchased for traditional rulers and various groups that they did not pay a kobo before leaving office.
“Under commercial agriculture credit scheme is their YCAD programme that failed woefully. The also took money for the rehabilitation of water scheme and the money they borrowed for Ero Dam rehabilitation just went down the drain.
“We all know the N25 billion they borrowed from the Capital Market to finance some projects, but where are the projects? They never built any Governor’s Office. They did not build a new Ojaba Market, they did not complete their event centre. Even the state pavilion was not fully completed,” Oguntuase stated.
However, the Media Director, Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, said debts taken by Mr Fayose alone in the last three years totalled N56 billion, according to figures from the Debt Management Office.
“Again, we admit that Fayemi borrowed N25 billion to be defrayed within seven years and records are there in the Debts Management Office that Fayemi paid back N14.5 billion of the debts, leaving the balance of N10.5 billion before he left office on October 16, 2014,” he said.
“All the projects that benefitted from the bond are verifiable. They are the roads constructed across the state, schools and hospital rehabilitation, world standard Ikogosi Resort that has again been looted, Ire Burnt Bricks Company, Igbemo Asphalt Plant, water projects, new Government House, Pavilion, Civic Centre that Fayose has abandoned, among several others.
“If the official debt figure were as stated above, how did they come about N35.34 billion to service the debt of N10.5 billion?
“Fayose was secretly collecting N1.3 billion Budget Support Fund for 14 months to pay salary without telling workers that he was collecting the money on their behalf to pay salary. He diverted all to self-serving projects, leaving workers without salaries for between six and 10 months, including failure to pay pensioners.”
Mr Fayemi, who lost his re-election bid to Mr Fayose in 2014, is currently the APC candidate for next month’s election. His main challenger is expected to be Mr Fayose’s deputy, Kolapo Olusola.