By 'Sina Kawonise
Last week I made a public statement alerting our people to another loan request of N19 billion by the Governor Ibikunle Amosun Government. In that statement, I averred that the claim of the government to be owing only N35.6 billion was false and misleading. I was called all manners of names because of that public statement.
With the appearance of some Commissioners in the Government at the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA) and the documents extracted from them, it is now very clear who was economical with the truth. The following is the record of the debt profile of the State as submitted to the OGHA yesterday by the Government itself:
Approvals from the OGHA
1. N26 billion out of which N18b was accessed from the banks.
2. N40 billion for the joint projects with Brazilians. This wasn't accessed from the banks.
3. N7.5 billion fully accessed.
4. N15 billion fully accessed.
5. N1 billion for Agriculture fully accessed.
6. N2 billion for Housing fully accessed.
Total accessed from local banks = N43.5 billion
Outstanding cash liability to local banks = N35.6 billion
Total amount repaid = N7.9 billion
Foreign loans. = N15.9 billion
Total Cash Liabilities = N51.5 billion
Debt to road contractors
1. Total INITIAL value of road contracts (25 in all) = N237.47 billion.
2. Variation (that is, upward review of initial sums) = N34.62 billion.
3. Gross value of road contracts = N272.09
4. Total amount paid to date to road Contractors = N30.26 billion.
5. Total debt to road contractors = N241.83 billion
From the foregoing, the Total Debt Exposure of the Ogun State Government under Governor Ibikunle Amosun on just two headings is N51.5b + N241.83b = N293.33 billion.
The interesting thing here is that the Government did not even spend the total amount of loans accessed from local banks on the road projects for which the loans were approved by the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA). Out of a total of N48.5b approved for that purpose, only N30.26b was expended. Where is the balance? This is illegal virement which in financial regulations is a criminal offence.
The immediate implication of the above is that not a single Naira has been spent, directly, on the road projects from the huge monthly Federal allocations and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which have been a minimum average of N10 billion since June, 2011. Where has all the money gone?
It is for the foregoing that the new request by Governor Amosun for a fresh N19 billion loan from four local banks must be denied by the OGHA. We call on all stakeholders in the Ogun Project (former Heads of Federal Government of Ogun origin, former civilian and military governors, political leaders, traditional rulers, labour leaders, student leaders, among others) to prevail on the 26 members of the OGHA not to be further accomplices in the pillage of our commonwealth in Ogun State and not to mortgage our present and future to debt peonage. The current political and economic situation in the State is grave and all men and women of goodwill must rise to rescue our people from it.
* 'Sina Kawonise, was the former Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Ogun State, and is aspiring to the Office of Governor in the State in the forthcoming 2015 elections.