- Gov declares free education
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has insisted that his administration did not commit the state to any financial institution in form of bonds and commercial loans, describing claim by Governor Kayode Fayemi that the State was indebted to the tune of N170 billion as false and “a way of preparing grounds for his impending failure just as he did when he assumed office in 2010.”
This is coming as Fayemi, wednesday, abolished the education tax introduced by Fayose in all primary and secondary schools in the state.
Fayose’s Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, said in a statement issued yesterday that Ekiti State indebtedness was under N60 billion and that the debt was either directly incurred during Fayemi’s first tenure or as a result of the loans restructuring done at the instance of the federal government and the Federal Economic Council.
He gave the breakdown as follows; Commercial Bank Loan,
N2,087,788,065.28; CBN Grant for Water Project, N163,450,000; Excess Crude Account Backed Loan, N9,545,173,472.78; Bailout, N9,083,761,215.40; FGN Bonds, N18,226,699,707.18; State Bonds, N3,484,469,345.51 and Budget Support, N16,869,000,000.
While challenging Fayemi to name the banks being owed the N170 billion and monthly repayment by the State Government to such banks, Olayinka said; “He should not wait till 100 days to cook up false stories of how much debt was left by the Fayose administration. He should rather tell Nigerians how it is possible for a state that is indebted to the tune of N170 billion to be making N1.1 billion repayment monthly.
“Instead of lying so blatantly to cover up his impending failure,
Fayemi should publish the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ekiti State Executive Council and House of Assembly approvals for the loans since no loan can be taken without these approvals.”
Describing Fayemi as a “multiple-mouthed” person, Olayinka said; “In September this year, Fayemi claimed that Ekiti debt was N117 billion, one month after, he said the debt is N170 billion. So the debt increased from N117 billion to N170 billion in less than 30 days?
“The reality is that Fayemi is reputed for speaking from both sides of his mouth. In the past, when Fayose assisted him to be governor, he described him (Fayose) as an honourable person whose word is always his bond and today, he goes about denigrating the same Fayose.”
Fayose’s spokesperson, who admonished Fayemi to face the task of governance and stop his usual grandstanding, said; “The federal government deliberately refused to release legitimate funds belonging to Ekiti State to the Fayose administration and for this reason, the arrears of salary could not be cleared as promised.
“We are aware that in a matter days, the withheld fund of over N30 billion is to be released to the state by the federal government as refund on federal roads construction, arrears of Budget Support and Paris Club refund.
“Our plea is that Governor Fayemi should stop making excuses and use the over N30 billion to pay workers salary.
Maewnhile, Fayemi, wednesday, abolished the education tax introduced by former Governor Ayodele Fayose in all primary and secondary schools in the state.
Fayemi said education would henceforth be free in all public primary and secondary schools across the state, saying it was an aberration for school children to pay tax.
Fayose had in 2015 introduced payment of education tax in all private and public schools across the state, whereby children at primary and secondary cadres were mandated to pay N500 and N1,000 per term respectively as tax.
The new governor had also appealed to Ekiti people to vote for
President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, saying it is only the continuity of Buhari/Osinbajo government that could bring the realisation of all projects promised by the federal government for Ekiti.
Speaking during a thank you visit to Ekiti South and North
senatorial district headquarters, Ido and Ikere Ekiti yesterday ,
Fayemi said: “Education is now free up to the secondary cadre in Ekiti State. Our children would no longer pay tax in both public and private schools.
“When we were in government before 2010 and 2014, we ran free education until when the last administration came and said school children should pay tax.
“By the grace of God, by December this year, we are also going to introduce school feeding from primary to Junior Secondary 3 as part of the benefits we will get from the federal government”, he stated.
On the 2019 elections, Fayemi said the only way the promised made by President Buhari to extend rail line to Ekiti, dualise Ado-Akure road and do other projects is by allowing this government to continue beyond 2019.
“That is why I am begging our candidates to reach out to other
contestants for the State and National Assembly contests and reconcile with them. They should also meet all the leaders, because no governor can come from the government house and install all these candidates without the supports of the party people.
“We must not allow cracks in our party, we must be united. Whoever thinks he could fight the leaders and other contestants and still win election is wasting his time, he had already heard the result of the election.
“Don’t let us de-market our party, All Progressives Congress (APC) by our comments. We must be united the way we were for the July 14 election. I want you to learn from me, after the governorship primary, which I won, I immediately embarked on fence-mending mission to all aspirants, this is how it should be.
“President Buhari has promised Ekiti a lot of goodies and the only way Ekiti can benefit is for us to win Ekiti for him”, Governor Fayemi advised.