The Ekiti State Government has said the outgoing administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose did not commit the state to bonds and commercial loans with any bank, insisting that the state did not owe N117 billion, as being claimed by governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi.
Explaining that no loans could be accessed without approval from the Debt Management Office (DMO) and Ministry of Finance, he challenged them to publish details of any loans taken by the Fayose administration and the banks that granted them.
Speaking while receiving the report of the Transition Committee set up to facilitate a smooth handover, Fayemi had said he was leaving Fayose and his government to God over what he described as mismanagement of the state’s resources.
Fayemi was reacting to latest figures allegedly released by the DMO, which revealed that the state’s debt profile grew from N18b Fayose inherited from Fayemi in 2014 to a whopping N117b.
But reacting to Fayemi’s claims, Special Assistant to Governor Fayose on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, yesterday said Fayemi was preparing excuses for his failure in governance.
He said unlike him (Fayemi) who was not courageous enough to answer questions on his administration before a probe panel, Governor Fayose was not afraid of being probed either by the state or Federal Government.
“Ekiti State indebtedness stands at N59.5b either inherited from the Fayemi administration or incurred from loans restructuring at the instance of the Federal Government and the Federal Executive Council (FEC),” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said commercial bank loans amounted to N2.087b; CBN grant for water project (N163.4m); excess crude account backed loan (N9.5b); bailout (N9b); FGN bonds (N18.2b); state bonds (N3.8b) and budget support (N16.8b).
Specifically, the N10b grant from the excess crude account for capital projects is part of funds that normally accrue to states.
“Most importantly, we admit that the state workers are being owed four months salary and this was occasioned by the monthly deductions from the state allocation as a result of huge debt incurred by Fayemi’s administration.
“Even the N9.5b bailout fund was for the payment of arrears of salaries and unpaid deductions by the Fayemi government,” he said.
Olayinka accused the Federal Government of deliberately refusing to release the state funds to the Fayose-led government, having made up its mind to rig the governorship election for Fayemi.
He said N22.6b refund on construction of federal roads, N2.1b arrears of budget support and N14.1b Paris Club refund, amounting to N38.8b, which should have been paid to the state since June will now be released in November to Fayemi’s government.