• My govt didn’t mismanage N25bn bond
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has described the budget of N1. 2 billion by the state Governor, Kayode Fayemi, for his travelling allowances in the 2019 budget as part of his alleged agenda to plunder the state resources.
This is coming as the governor also absolved his government of allegations by the immediate past administration of Governor Ayo Fayose that he mismanaged the N25 billion bond sourced from the capital market during his first tenure
The party noted that the governor has again proved that the welfare of the workers in the state is not as paramount as what goes to his pocket even in the face of inability to facilitate the payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000.
In a statement issued by the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, yesterday, the party berated the All Progressive Congress (APC) governor’s ‘insensitivity’ to the plight of the workers and generality of the people of the state with this outrageous budget for his personal conveniences.
PDP said Fayemi believes that Ekiti people could be manipulated financially as he did in the election hence his resolve to corner money meant for the development of the state in different guises as shown in the 2019 budget.
The party recalled that when Fayemi assumed office as governor, one of the first things he did was to increase his security vote to N250 million with another whooping sum running into billions to the office of his wife against the constitution and convention.
Adebayo added that the governor did not blink an eye when he mopped up money left in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) by Fayose’s government, “an amount running into billions for himself which he covered up with the next leg of the SUBEB fund that was released when he assumed office.”
PDP maintained that the mere patching of roads by the APC government in the state is being recorded as full rehabilitation contract with the large bulk of the money allegedly going into the pocket of the governor.
According to the party, “A lot of financial manipulations are going on in the state government in line with the intention to milk dry the treasury by the governor which perhaps he doesn’t know is open to the public.
“It is expected of the governor to be mopping fund for the actualisation of the payment of the N30, 000 minimum wage for the workers of the state instead of employing this administrative dribbling to corner the state finances.”
Meanwhile, Fayemi has absolved his government of allegations by the immediate past administration of Fayose that he mismanaged the N25 billion bond sourced from the capital market in his first tenure.
The governor said contrary to the position canvassed by the Fayose-led government that his administration plunged the state into needless debts, which would be defrayed till 2036, the funds were judiciously expended on landmark projects that were of immense economic gains to state.
Fayemi, who said the first tranche of N20 billion had already been defrayed, noted that the repayment of the remaining N5 billion would be completed next year contrary to 2036 claimed by Fayose.
The governor stated this in Ado Ekiti yesterday while hosting a team of officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who visited the state to assess projects executed with the N25 billion bonds taken by Fayemi from the capital market in his first term in office.
He explained that the funds were expended on the construction of eleven road projects across the three senatorial districts; Ikogosi warm spring resort, Ire Burnt Brick, Ekiti Liaison office in Lagos, Adunni Olayinka Civic Centre, Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, Oke Ayoba governor’s lodge among others.
While explaining that his administration originally requested for N600million to build the Oke Ayoba lodge, the governor said the fund was just a part funding for the project because the government spent N2.7billion on the project.
Fayemi who added that he was not unaware that amendments needed to be made to some of the projects to conform to SEC laid down rules, clarified that the errors noticed in some of the projects were “errors of omission rather than commission.”
Earlier, the leader of the SEC team, Mr. Usman Kawu Mohammed, had explained that the visit was to assess and monitor compliance with the rules of the commission.
Usman stated that bond taking is not about an individual but institution, saying the SEC’s assessment was to ensure transparency and probity in governance and prudent utilisation of public funds