Ogun owes N103 Billion, not N410 Billion, says Amosun
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday denied allegation that the state was owing N410 billion debt. The governor, who spoke while addressing teachers at the Governor’s Office premises in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, to mark the World Teachers’ Day, insisted that the total foreign and local debt was N103 billion.
Amosun told the crowd that contrary to figures being spread by his political opponents, the true picture of the debt profile of the state was N70 billion, including N48.9 billion debt, which his predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, handed to him “and a foreign loan of about N40 billion since the days of Olabisi Onabanjo’s (first civilian Governor of the State) administration.”
While justifying the recent loan request of $350 from the World Bank, the governor said: “It is only rational to take the loan at one per cent interest rate in the interest of development of the state.”
According to him, in terms of financial management, Ogun State can be ranked “among the best” in the country.
Amosun explained that if the World Bank loan is approved, his administration could not access more than 10 per cent of it before the end of his tenure, while the succeeding administration would access the rest.
“Clearly, the state’s debt is about 103billion, including foreign and local. I didn’t take the foreign loan, which is about 40 billion; our forebears did.”
“If those ones are grants with 0.5 per cent interest, they are just like ‘dash.’ When people are shouting that we are taking loans, the World Bank is not stupid, what they probably have is $1billion and they are giving Ogun State alone 35 per cent of that, $350m dollars at one percent or 1.5 percent.
“We are taking that money (loan) because of the love we have for Ogun State. If not, I would have stopped the loan because of these talks (speculations). “At best, we will be given 10 per cent next year, because the World Bank has procedures.
“Officially, Ogun State is owing little over N70billion. That is the one that is local that can be ascribed to this administration. How can anybody that is rational see a loan of one per cent interest and will not take it?”
The governor said he opted to repay the bailout loan given to the state by the federal government within 10 years, as against the 20 years proposed by the federal government because of his financial re-engineering.
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