A former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has stated that his administration left N20 billion in the coffers of the state when it handed over to the incumbent administration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Reacting to a speech made by Akeredolu on the state of finances he had inherited from Mimiko, a former Commissioner of Information, Hon. Kayode Akinmade, said in a statement yesterday that Mimikoâ€™s administration left about N20 billion in the coffers of the State at its exit in February 2017.
â€œThis include: N7.37billion in the current account; N7.53billion as fixed deposit; N1.2billion in the MDG account; $346,000 and 443,000Euro in the domiciliary account, including the N825million Sure-P fund at the Local Government Account! The above amount, most of which came late into our tenure was to be used to offset a chunk of owed salaries before the then Accountant General made a curious disappearance,â€ he explained..
Speaking on the figures listed as external debt, Akinmade insisted that Mimikoâ€™s administration did not incur any foreign debt in all its eight years.
According to him, the external debt stock as at February 2017 was $49,958,268.49, which amounted to N15.23 billion at the exchange rate of N305.
He further disclosed that all of the external debt stock was inherited from previous administrations.
â€œAgain, we did not contract any external loan for in our eight years of governance Well aware of the fact that government is a continuum, we continued to service the debts, some of which spanned over 20 years. Internal debt profile, we aver, stood at N53.159 billion comprising mainly of salary bail-out loan of N13.76billion, Excess Crude Account loan N9.79 billion, CBN restructuring FGN Bond N4.13billion, CBN
budget support N7.5billion and Ondo State seven-year bond of N17.6billion. Of all the above listed indebtedness, only the Ondo State seven-year Bond was directly incurred by our government to build major infrastructure across the state,â€ Akinmade said.
Akinmade acknowledged that Mimikoâ€™s administration experienced the sad reality of salaries arrears like almost all the states of the federation, adding that this accounted for the unpaid salaries for the period August 2016 to January 2017, amounting to N32.40billion, with N20.93 billion owed state government workers and N11.469billion owed local government workers, including political appointees.
â€œEven at that, it must also be clear that we left office on the February 24, 2017, while Federal Allocation for February 2017 salaries was received by the incumbent government on February 28, 2017. We could not have paid February salaries when we did not receive February allocation before exit. On Pensions, a sum of N4.8billion was said to be owed by the state government and N25.237billion by the local government. We wonder where these figures came from. At inception, our administration paid N1.5billion out of outstanding pensions and gratuities. All the years of our administration, monthly obligations to pensioners were considered and paid as part of salaries. The N32.40billion salary areas is therefore inclusive of obligations to pensioners, except gratuity, which is owed both at the state and local government levels,â€ he explained.
The former commissioner acknowledged that gratuities are outstanding, but added that this sad development was not peculiar to Ondo State alone, as almost all states of the federation have defaulted on gratuities in the last 10 years or more.