By Ojo Peter, Ibadan
The Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticized in strong terms, the express approval obtained by Governor Seyi Makinde from the state lawmakers to draw a fresh twenty billion naira “infrastructure loan” from a commercial bank in Nigeria describing the move as a sour grape in the mouth of the people.
Oyo state government explained on Tuesday that it has received the approval of the state legislature to obtain another loan of 20 billion naira (20 000 000 000) from one of Nigeria’s commercial banks as the facility would be spent on infrastructures.
Further details regarding the terms of the loan and the project(s) attached to it were, however, not contained in the information released to the public by the government.
The APC in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan on Wednesday by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, said that the development was a clear manifestation of the PDP administration’s resolve to subject the state to bankruptcy and thus bring it down to her knees in no time while the governor and a few people within the corridor of power must have succeeded in enriching themselves and some private institutions where they have interest.
“It is no longer news that the administration of Gov. Makinde has failed to sustain the legacy of prudent and accountable management of resources it inherited from Senator Abiola Ajimobi who left power about a year ago but not without myriads of achievements in his entire eight years in office as the helmsman.
In less than a year, the table has turned for the bad as what the people of Oyo state experience at the moment is a government without direction.
“The whole world was again taken aback on Tuesday when it was reported that Gov. Makinde was to get another fresh loan of N20b which was even tied to anything concrete.
That brought the sum total of loan facilities already taken, in about 11 months, to over N40b. The previous being a N10b Infrastructure Loan, N7.6b Agricultural Loan purportedly for the upgrade of two farm settlements in Akufo and Eruwa and another N2.5b Health Loan.
All this happened at the same period when monthly federal allocations, refunds from federal government, monetary grants and donations came in simultaneously and without anything to show for it.
“It is recalled the camp of Engr. Seyi Makinde was popular for sponsoring incessant propaganda against the administration of Sen. Ajimobi between 2016 and early 2019 as it kept misleading the public over the state’s debt profile which they maliciously put at over N150b. However, a simple check from the Debt Management Office (DMO) indicated that the state debt profile at that time was N90b with evident heavy spending on recurrent expenditure, infrastructure, job creation, security, poverty alleviation and so on.
“It was in the same mode of propaganda and deceit that Engr. Makinde stated during his 2019 electioneering that if he became the governor of Oyo state, he would improve the economy of the state such that in just six months salaries and pensions would be paid without relying on monthly handouts from Abuja or loan facilities. Unfortunately, this is a year after his inauguration and only God knows how much he has paid to banks in interests to sustain the statutory obligation of payments to workers and pensioners.
“Up till today, Gov. Makinde is still commissioning key projects put in place by his predecessor (Sen. Ajimobi) while he has never done convincing on the few ones he plans to do on his own. Now, our concern is that Gov. Makinde may be out to plunge the state into life-threatening debt without any tangible thing to show after his four year tenure.
More importantly, we are calling on the state house of assembly to grow from being active only when there are loan request or fresh appointments to approve by being responsive to their constitutional duties which include checkmating the governor on the issue of financial recklessness and high handedness.” APC said