Contrary to criticisms against proposed $350 million foreign credit facility which Ogun state government seeks from World Bank, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has declared that only 10% of the concessionary loan will be accessed by government before expiration of his tenure.
It will be recalled that some politicians in the state, including Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, the governorship candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 criticised Governor Amosun’s move to secure $350 million, arguing that if the state could generate N7 billion and above as internally generated revenue on monthly basis, Ogun state might not need such a loan.
Responding to the criticisms on the proposed foreign loan at the World Teachers’ Day Ceremony held at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta on Thursday, Governor Amosun said that loan would be accessed over the years at 1 – 1.5% interest rate with a five-year moratorium and 25-year repayment plan, adding that the total debts, both local and foreign, which the state is owing are N103 billion.
The governor, who stated that Ogun state is seeking 35% of the entire $1 billion loan facility meant for the country from World Bank which he described as best terms in financial management, disclosed that local debt is about N70 billion which includes N48.9 billion debt he inherited from ex – Governor Gbenga Daniel’s administration.
“Clearly, every debt is about N103 billion, including foreign and local. Even if you take off the foreign loan which was about N40 billion; I didn’t take the loan, our forebears did.
“If those ones are grants with 0.5%, they are just like ‘dash’, when people are shouting that we are taking loans, World Bank is not stupid, what they probably have is $1billion and they are giving Ogun State alone 35% of that, $350m dollars at 1% or 1.5%.
“That money is because of love we have for Ogun state, if not, I would have stopped the loan because of these talks, but this is the time, I will not be the administration that will collect this money, at best, we will be given 10% next years because world bank has procedures.
“Officially, Ogun State is owing little over N70 billion, the one that is local that can be ascribed to this administration. How can anybody that is rational will see a loan of 1% and you’re saying ‘don’t take it? They clearly do not know, and you can’t you give what you don’t have?
“My predecessor officially said they left N49.8 billion, that was what was left in the handover note, if all that we have added to it is about N20 billion, can’t you see what we have done?”, he concluded with rhetorical question.
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta