Friday 4 March 2022

FAAC: ‘How Aregbesola’s N200bn loan landed Osun in -N375m allocation’

The Osun State Government’s fiscal receipts from the Federal Accounts and Allocation Committee ( FACC) got depleted last month following appropriate deductions by the federal government.

At the end of the last FAAC meeting, the state got negative allocation of -N375million.

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The negative allocation, it was learnt, was a major fallout of the N200 billion loan obtained by the Rauf Aregbesola administration from 2010 to 2018. The sharp drop in allocation, it was gathered, was as a result of heavy Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy, otherwise called petroleum. 

Aregbesola, who is currently the minister of interior, served out two terms as governor of Osun state. As at the last count, the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration had repaid about N72 billion of the accumulated debt.

“A breakdown shows that in the first two years of the Oyetola administration, the state government paid N2.4billion (monthly) of the loan obtained by the immediate past administration.

,,,,“However, after paying N72 billion of the N200 billion loan, the deductions from FAAC dropped to N1.4billon monthly, thus amounting to N72billion of the debt sum so far paid by the current government,” one of the sources said.

It was further gathered that since coming on board, Governor Oyetola has not borrowed any money (local or foreign) in the running of his administration, including paying workers’ salaries. 

However, our source further revealed that “with N1.45 billion, being the actual allocation to the state from FAAC last month, the state went home with a negative of –N385million, implying that the sum would be deducted in the next allocation.

“This is in addition to the N1.8billion to be originally deducted in servicing the loan obtained by the Aregbesola administration.”

Findings revealed that despite the huge debt profile incurred by the previous administration in the state, several projects embarked upon by the administration were left uncompleted with about 30-month salary and pension arrears left as liability for the current government.

“Despite the negative allocation, Osun has since paid February salaries.”

Efforts by our reporter to get the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Bola Oyebamiji speak on how February salaries were paid and other obligations met, proved abortive. But a top government source, who spoke under anonymity said: “For Governor Oyetola, he has really brought his dexterity and sense of management to work in running the state’s affairs in the midst of this heavy debt overhang of N200 billion and other daunting challenges. 

It has been tough no doubt, but we have a man who really prepared for the challenges of governance. Oyetola is brutally prudent as a governor. He has blocked leakages and wastages. By thinking out of the box, he had made projections on how to ensure salaries do not fail for the next four years. He is not the type that gives excuses and that is why he prioritises workers’ welfare. Remember, he hasn’t borrowed a kobo since coming on board, yet, this silent achiever is rolling out projects. Not many governors who found themselves in his shoes would resist the ‘temptation’ of borrowing like he is doing.”

Govt a continuum – Ex-gov’s aide

Reacting to our story, the media aide to the former governor, Sola Fasure, said government is a continuum and that Aregbesola’s successor inherited both assets and liability.

He said: “These are mere allegations. The matter is already in the public domain. There is no such thing like N200billion. It is a false allegation. Some of the projects on which the debts were incurred, the federal government had been reimbursing the state government. The state government has got reimbursement from the federal government.

"Government will leave for you both asset and liability. When people talk about liability, ask them about the asset. Aregbesola had left four years ago now, both asset and liability is what they inherited.”

(Source: Blueprint)

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