Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
In what seems like a counter reaction to a report published by the Debt Management Office, the Ogun State Government has blamed the immediate past administration led by Senator Ibikunle Amosun for the high debt profile in the state.
The DMO in the report revealed that the Dapo Abiodun-led administration borrowed N58 billion as domestic debt in 18 months.
The DMO report which was published on March 15 simply signifies that from June 30, 2019 to December 30, 2020, the Ogun State Government under Gov Abiodun has acquired a total of N58,316,493,347 debt locally.
But, the state government in a counter reaction claimed that the figures given to it by the immediate past administration did not capture the entire liabilities it left behind.
In a statement signed by Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abiodun disclosed that not less than N50billion in financial liabilities were not accounted for in the financial report handed over to the Governor in May 2019.
Somorin explained that the omitted amount was financial liabilities incurred by the immediate past administration due to unpaid pensions, gratuities and outstanding staff salaries “which surprisingly were not captured in the books left behind for the new government.”
The statement reads partly, “We only got to know about this amount in the course of our carrying out due diligence on Ogun State finances shortly after we took over. And as a transparent government, committed to being accountable, we had to disclose this for the first time, to give a true picture of the State’s indebtedness.
“Governor Dapo Abiodun has started paying the retirees and pensioners affected, with the first tranche of N500million paid to them last month. Every quarter the governor has promised to pay them at least N500million until everyone is paid.”
Somorin justified that the omitted figures had impact on the recent DMO report.
“The increase in the 2020 total debt of the state was due to an undisclosed gratuity and staff liabilities of about N50bn not recognized in the State financial statements in May 2019 at the end of the previous administration. In order to show the complete picture of all State liabilities, the current administration booked the gratuities and staff liabilities in the financial statements of the State hence the increase,” the statement explained.
The statement then restated the commitment of the Governor Abiodun administration to transparency and accountability in all matters, including financial, while remaining steadfast in the completion of all projects inherited as well as those initiated by the present government.
“Residents and citizens of the State can attest to how Gov Abiodun is completing all the abandoned projects of his predecessor and commencing signature projects and roads.
“The governor has concentrated on his Building Our Future Together with special attention to Infrastructures, Health, Education and Agriculture.
“Also, the welfare and security of the people which are the primary functions of Government are equally on the front-burner”, the statement added.