Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the state’s debt profile is not as huge as the “opposition parties” claim.
The governor maintains that the state currently owes N143.6bn debt, and not N300bn or N500bn “which some of the members of the opposition parties are claiming the state owes.”
Aregbesola also vowed that the government would clear the entire debts by 2019.
His tenure expires on November 26, 2018.
The governor, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Monday by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, disclosed this during an all-night interactive programme with the people of the state.
Baderinwa reiterated that the debt profile of the state was not as huge as the various figures the opposition parties were dishing out; saying that the Aregbesola administration borrowed to “positively develop the state.”
Earlier, when asked to confirm the exact amount the state owed, Aregbesola directed the question to the Accountant-General of the State, Mr. Kolawole Akintayo, and asked him to respond.
Akintayo said that Osun State’s total indebtedness was N143.6bn — and not N300bn or N500bn as claimed by some members of the opposition parties.
Akintayo said, “Total debt of the State of Osun was N171.4bn in the last seven years. A sum of N28bn has been paid, leaving a balance of N143.6bn debt.”
Aregbesola, who corroborated the accountant-general’s figure, said the state would repay the debt fully by 2019.
“Osun will settle all the debts in 2019. There will be no kobo left of the N30bn conventional loan in 2019; and by September 2020, N11.4bn Sukuk would have been settled,” the governor said.
But the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Mr. Soji Adagunodo, disagreed with the debt figure given by the governor and the accountant-general, saying there were some funds borrowed by the administration which were not added to the debt profile.
Adagunodo said that Osun State would continue to repay some of the funds borrowed for the next 23 years.