Sunday 18 December 2022

Osun Debt Profile: Group bemoans Aregbesola's claim...


A Social Political Group, Osun Shall Rise Again (OSRA) has bemoaned the Minister of Interior and former Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for claiming that he has liquidated Osun Debt before leaving office describing it as reckless, ridiculous and highest level of irresponsibility from the minister.

The group said the claim is an insult on the sensibility of the good people of Osun, particularly the workers and pensioners who knew that the humongous debt almost made the state  nearly go bankrupt for years before the immediate past Osun Governor,  Adegboyega Oyetola came to the rescue.

OSRA in a statement by its Chairman Lanre Akeju and Secretary, Saheed Bakare said the statement credited to the media aide of the former minister, Mr Sola Fasure clearly show that Aregbesola has no shame and he is not a man of clear conscience, adding that by now, the minister ought to have buried his head in shame with the revelations about Osun's debt status.

The group said "we read with disappointment and shock the claim of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the media yesterday that he has liquidated the loans he acquired between 2012 and 2017.  To better understand the double standard character of the minister, the same media aide, Sola Fasure this morning again denied the report saying the Minister of Interior never authorized any statement.

" However, Fasure in the report quoted the former minister in several paragraphs, and he did not also deny that he never issued the statement but just saying Aregbesola never authorized the statement. Aregbesola may have denied the statement following the feed back they got which were negative. Besides,  he fears that people will confront him with records that will further embarrass the Minister about his 8 years administration of indebtedness in Osun.

" If Aregbesola has conscience and has shame, the most honourable thing to do is to keep silent. If the minister does not know, the revelations is a serious indictment on his administration as governor who impoverished Osun with debts that incoming generation will continue to contend with. 

"Instead of apologising and humble himself by  appreciating the immediate past administration that offset over N97 Billion out of the debt, the former minister with the statement appeared to be celebrating his year of locusts when worker's salary and pension were not regularly paid despite the huge debt.

"With the available records, 90 percent of the state debt was secured during his administration between 2011 and 2018. For instance,  State Bond of N30,000,000,000.00 at 14.75% started in September 2014; the Sukuk of N11,400,000,000.00 at 14.75% started in May 2013; the FGN Bond of N86,671,281,863.41 at 14.83% started in August 2015; the Salary Bail-out of N25,871,920,000.00 at 9% started in September 2015; the FGN Budget Support Facility of N17,569,000,000.00 at 9% commenced in July 2016; the FGN Special Intervention Fund of N4,000,000,000.00 (interest-free) was accessed in 2017; the Excess Crude Account (ECA) Secured Term Loan of N10,000,000,000.00 at 9% was accessed in February 2016; and the Central Bank of Nigeria Development Fund (ECA2) of N5,000,000,000.00 at 9% started in June 2017.

"It is also important to say that Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced that the state is owing workers outstanding salary areas and pension to the tune of N79 Billion which was owed during his (Aregbesola) regime when his administration for years defaulted in pension payment and introduced half salary.

"When a liar tells a lie, the liar should know that there are people who have access to the raw facts. We challenge Fasure to encourage his Principal to publish details of how the debts were liquidated.

"The former Governor sould bury his head in shame as a monumental debtor and salary defaulter instead of reminding the people of the state his worst past that nearly bankrupted Osun. If there is anyone that should keep quiet now , it should be Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola," the group said.

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