Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, tuesday lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari for planning to borrow a whopping sum of $30 billion to fund the 2017 budget, saying borrowing at this time would finally stifle the economy and make Nigerians to suffer the more.
The governor spoke against the backdrop of a recent confession by the federal government that 2016 budget of over N6 trillion had performed at about 40 per cent.
Fayose who spoke at the government office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during the distribution of 7,000 eye-glasses to indigent
Ekiti people with bad eye-sight, said: “If we borrow this much to finance 2017 bugdet, it means we will continue to borrow even till 2019, and the rate at which this government is borrowing money, I hope they will not plunge Nigeria into eternal debt, enslavement and misery. This has been the fear of many who are against borrowing of N30 billion loan. And we will continue to borrow without attempting to concretely tackle the dwindling rate of our currency.
“What the federal government is doing is in the wrong direction. You see, one sad thing is that once the head is right, the whole body would be right. The federal government under President Buhari does not have what it takes to lead this country economically and beyond. They confirmed that the 2016 budget performed below about 40 per cent so that is to tell you that they lack the vision, and don’t know what they are doing and are only deceiving Nigerians.”
Speaking about the inspiration behind the distribution of the eye-glasses, Fayose said the scheme was meant to benefit poor and visually impaired people who cannot afford eye-glasses and whose bad eye-sights had affected their performance at work or handiwork.
He said: “We have done this before and these are the benefits that can get to the common people. The benefits is for those with impaired sight for a long time and couldn’t get solution. We have taken this to them tested them and diagnosed the recommended glasses. And today we are giving the glasses to them.
“You cannot imagine that people can wake up without a N100 in their pockets, not to talk of affording a eyeglass of N7,000. The project is targeted at 7,000 people and is costing government about N59 million.
This project continues and we’ve already included it in next year budget.”
The eye-glasses programme was carried out by the management of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH).
The representative of the hospital, Mrs. Teniloa Oso, who spoke about the efforts of the her team, said: “The Oju Ayo programme is a form of poverty alleviation programme directed at the poor in our communities who out of poor vision and near blindness have lost all means of survival resulting in poverty and its associated challenges.