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SPECIAL REPORT : Ogun’s Debt Soars As Abiodun Accumulates  N300 Billion in 4 Years

Ogun Ranks 3rd Highest in Domestic Debt 

 

Daud Olatunji 

Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics have shown that Ogun state has a public debt of N379.21 billion as at the second quarter of 2023.

Breaking it down, the state has a domestic debt of N293.20 billion and an external debt of $111.62 million. Using the CBN conversion rate of N770.5/$, the external debt is N86.0 billion.

Meanwhile, the state is said to have an estimated population of 4.4 million citizens. If the Debt per Capita (that is the division of the state debt over population) is calculated, it means each residents in the state is owing N85.714.33

BudgIT, a non-governmental organization, disclosed on its website that as at the end of 2019, Ogun state External Debt was $107.45 million while it’s domestic debt was N106.53 billion. 

By calculation, this mean, Governor Dapo Abiodun who was sworn in as a governor for his first term in office in 2019, grew the external debt by 3.88 per cent and the Domestic debt by 175.23 per cent

Meanwhile, the latest table displayed on the website of the  Nigeria Bureau of Statistics showed that Ogun state is the third with the highest Domestic debt in the country.

While Lagos  tops the table with N996.4bn and was being trailed  by Delta state with N465.4bn. Ogun State emerged third  with N293.2bn 

In a recent investigation, it has been revealed that the state under the leadership of  Abiodun, has obtained loans totaling  over  N300 billion in just four years. 

According to data from the Debt Management Office (DMO), this has led to Ogun State ranking third among the most indebted states in Nigeria.

The DMO’s report, released on March 15, 2021, disclosed that within the first 18 months of Governor Abiodun’s administration, the state had borrowed N58 billion as domestic debt.

 This marked a significant increase from the N95.17 billion in domestic debt inherited from his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun, in 2019.

Furthermore, analysis of the state’s financial records from June 30, 2019, to December 30, 2020, revealed that Governor Abiodun’s administration had accrued a total of N58.32 billion in domestic debt during this period.

This has raised concerns about the sustainability of the state’s financial situation as it grapples with its growing debt burden.

Justifying the debt earlier, the  Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser in Ogun State, Dapo Okubadejo said  the Dapo Abiodun administration inherited N142 billion debt from the previous administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Okubadejo  said out of the N142 billion debt inherited from the previous administration, $121 million was foreign debt.

“When we came in 2019, the total debt profile of Ogun State was about N142 billion, the foreign debt component of that was $121 million, just take that $121 million at N450 per dollar today to N220 per dollar in 2019, there is an exchange rate implication on that $121 million debt.

“When we came in 2019, we saw that the pension and gratuity liabilities of the state were not in the books. The liabilities were not booked in the debt profile of the state in 2019,” Okubadejo said.

 

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