Mimiko denies leaving N220b debt for Akeredolu
• I left over N20b in state coffers
Ex-governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has debunked the claims by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu that his administration inherited N220 billion debt.In a statement by his former Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, Mimiko disclosed that he left over N20 billion in the state coffers.
Akeredolu, had while inaugurating his new commissioners on Wednesday, said he inherited “a staggering debt totaling N220, 588,125,731.00.”He quoted the figures to include internal and external debts, unpaid salaries and allowances, state pension liabilities and gratuities.
Akeredolu also refuted Mimiko’s claim that he left over N20 billion in the state coffers even before the expiration of his two-term tenure on February 24, 2017, which he said took six months for a counter-claim.
According to Akeredolu, the liquid assets that he met from all banks balances, fixed deposits, balance in bond, portfolio management account and Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) totaled N9, 956,594,630.36.
But Mimiko said, without mincing words: “We are concerned by the figures in the speech and feel obliged to put the records straight.“For the avoidance of doubt, our administration left about N20 billion in the coffers of the state at its exit on February 2017. This include: N7.37 billion in the current account, N7.53 billion in fixed deposit; N1.2 billion in the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) account, $346,000 and 443,000 Euro in the domiciliary account and N825 million Sure-P fund in the local government account.”
He further explained that most of the money, which came late during his tenure was purposed to offset the salary arrears owed to the workers, before the then accountant general disappeared.
“On the figures listed as external debt, it is necessary to state the following. Our administration did not incur any foreign debt in all its eight years. Also, the external debt stock as at February 2017 was $49, 958,268.49, which (if translated at one $ = N305) is N15.23 billion.
“All of this external debt stock was inherited from previous administrations. Again, we did not contract any external loan for all of our eight years. We are aware of the fact that government is a continuum, we continued to service the debts, some of which spanned over 20 years,” he said.
He added that internal debt profile was at N53.159 billion, comprising mainly of salary bailout loan of N13.76 billion, Excess Crude Account loan of N9.79 billion, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) restructuring Federal Government of Nigeria Bond N4.13 billion, CBN budget support N7.5 billion and Ondo State 7-Year bond of N17.6 billion.
The former governor pointed out that, of all the listed indebtedness, his government only directly incurred the seven-year bond to build major infrastructure across the state.
He urged the people and Akeredolu to visit the Debt Management Office and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) for the true debt status of the state.
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