By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Following allegation by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, committed the state to N117 billion debt, the governor has dared institutions in charge of debt management in the country to immediately publish the debt profile of the state.
Fayose said he had not committed the state to any debt either by taking bond or borrowing from any financial institution since he assumed office for the second term on October 16, 2014 till date.
The governor challenged the Debt Management Office (DMO) and his accuser, the APC to publish any debt he owes on behalf of the state since he assumed office in 2014.
Fayose described as a blatant lie and cheap blackmail, the allegation raised by the Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, claiming that the state’s debt profile, according to the data they allegedly obtained from the DMO currently stands at N117 billion.
The governor, who spoke yesterday in a press briefing to journalists at the new governor’s office, justified the purchase of a new vehicle for himself and approval of the severance packages of his deputy and himself.
“When Fayemi was leaving as governor in 2014, he left with a car and so did other governors before him. So, you can’t expect me also not to have a befitting car when I am leaving office.
“ Fayemi himself ordered a Jeep of almost N7 million for me when l was still Governor-elect in 2014, but he didn’t pay for it. I had also bought a Jeep for former Governor Niyi Adebayo to honour him. That is how it is done every four years.
“If Fayemi’s government wants to probe me, I will present myself and would not behave like a coward like he did. I have served Ekiti State; l have given my best. Relevant documents will be handed over to the in-coming administration at the appropriate time,” he assured.
Commenting on the debt profile of Ekiti, Fayose said, “ I have not committed Ekiti State to one Naira debt since I assumed office as governor for the second term. I haven’t borrowed from any financial institutions. They should stop just saying it and publish any record of debt from any bank or the Debt Management Office (DMO) as evidence. I did not take any bond or borrow from any financial bank.
“ In my first tenure, I left N10.4 billion in the coffers of government but I started this administration on October 16, 2014 meeting huge debt incurred by my predecessor, Fayemi.
“The last administration of Fayemj brought Ekiti to N25 billion bond and N32 billion commercial loan and the state will pay the bond until year 2022. The commercial loan was restructured like it was done for other states,” he claimed.
Governor Fayose blamed his inability to offset workers’ outstanding salaries on the federal government’s alleged deliberate refusal to pay debts it owed Ekiti.
“The federal government recently paid Osun State over N16 billion but deliberately refused to pay Ekiti the budget support of two months and refund of road project. They are waiting for when Fayemi will be sworn in and pay him. That is okay with me as long as the ordinary Ekiti man benefit from it. Ekiti owns the money. “