Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola
By Ifeanyi Konyehi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-west has described the plan by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in Lagos State to source N80 billion bond from the capital market as not only criminal but a disservice to the people of the state.
The party said the people of the state are already burdened by the huge debt being owed by the state.
It reiterated its warning on the dire consequences of the huge debt the ACN governments in the South-west zone are plunging the region into, adding that; “It is ridiculous for a state like Lagos that is making over N25 billion monthly as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to be going cap in hands to borrow N80 billion that it can make on its own under four months.”
The party’s Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, said in a release issued Wednesday that “it appears there are more to this issue of bond that the ACN governors have fallen in love with than meet the eyes and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other financial clearing houses must do everything possible to checkmate the rate at which the States are obtaining loans.”
The PDP said it suspected that the bond could be a means of bringing into Nigeria stolen funds from abroad, calling on security agencies to take more than passing interests in the bond issue.
“In Nigeria today, Lagos State owes the highest debt apart from the Federal Government. Lagos State was said to have, as at June 30, 2012, accumulated an external debt profile of $517,677,672!
“Ironically, Lagos State is the richest state in Nigeria with monthly IGR of over N25 billion and most Lagosians are in charge of their daily existence, with the State government responsible for virtually nothing.
“It should then worry well-meaning people if in spite of the huge debt being owed and the huge resources available to it, a state like Lagos is going to the capital market to take N80 billion bond again.
“Presently, Osun State alone is owing over N120 billion, Ekiti is owing over N30 billion and is rumoured to be planning to take another N30 billion while Ogun State is on the verge of taking N100 billion bond.
“Obviously, with the way these ACN-controlled states are taking loans and bonds, and giving promissory notes on multi billion naira contracts, the states will go bankrupt soon.
“It is therefore on this note that we are once again calling on well meaning Yoruba people to intervene in the affairs of the region by preventing these ACN governors from mortgaging the future of our children through frivolous loans because most of the loans being obtained now cannot be paid back in the next 50 years.”