N407bn debt: Adeleke vows probe, Oyetola’s aide slams gov

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Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has put the total debt portfolio of the state at N407.32bn.

Adeleke, who spoke at the monthly meeting of Osun State Traditional Rulers, held in Osogbo on Thursday, explained that the figure was arrived at after various sums of money in the eight credit facilities inherited were added to arrears of salaries and pension owed workers and retirees.

The governor said his administration inherited eight outstanding loan facilities repayable between the period of 16 months and 28 years, totalling N331.32bn, while the administration also had N76bn debt of arrears of salaries and pensions owed by the previous administration.

He said, “The total loan stock as of today is N331.32bn. If the N76bn debt on salaries and pension are added, the state is indebted to the tune of N407.32bn. The amount owed to contractors is yet to be determined. The only fund in government coffers as of Monday, November 29, was for November 2022 Salary. Otherwise, the state treasury was empty.

“As your governor, I will ask questions on your behalf and will demand answers. Governor Oyetola must explain how the N331bn borrowed in the name of Osun State was expended with no obvious infrastructural development to justify this huge debt.

“Governor Oyetola must explain how the N18bn Bridge Loan taken after he lost the election on July 16, 2022, was expended. Governor Oyetola must also explain why Osun State owes salaries and pensions to the tune of N76bn after collecting a N50bn salary bailout loan from the Federal Government.

“The creditors, especially the commercial banks, must explain why various loans were given to an administration beyond its four-year tenure.”

In his remarks, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who presided over the meeting, urged Adeleke to remain focused on his plan for the state and assured him that monarchs would continue to offer advice that would enhance development and ensure peace in Osun.

Also commenting, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, said the issue of debt must be properly investigated, stressing that though he thought the ex-governor could not have borrowed such a huge amount, he (Oyetola) should explain how the state came about the debt.

But when contacted for a reaction, Ismail Omipidan, the spokesperson of the former governor insisted that his principal did not take any loan facility while in office as governor.

Omipidan said, “If you go to my principal’s farewell address, he stated it clearly that like every other state, we benefitted N3bn on monthly basis for six months from the Federal Government as budget support. This money was given to all 36 states of the country without request.

“You cannot categorise that as a loan. So, the new governor does not understand the working of government and he should have allowed those that understand the rudiment to explain it to him so that he won’t be coming to the public to embarrass himself the way he did. “We also left N14bn behind. They should tell the people how much they met in the state coffers.”

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