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The Osun State House of Assembly on Friday announced that it has commenced investigation into the N407.32 billion debt profile of the state earlier declared by Governor Ademola Adeleke.

The Informant247 earlier reported that Governor Adeleke on Thursday while meeting the Osun Council of Traditional Rulers alleged the state had N407.32 billion debt which was incurred by his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola as he vowed to question him over the debt.

However, Oyetola in his response, refuted the claim through his media aide, Ismail Omipidan saying he never took any loan for four year but the debt was incurred by the administration of Rauf Aregbesola, while challenging Adeleke to publish the date when the loans were accessed.

Meanwhile, the state House of Assembly through the Chairman, House Committee on Information & Publicity, Kunle Akande in a statement on Friday expressed concern over the declaration of the debt and announced that investigation had commenced into the loan obtained by the state.

The statement read, “The State of Osun House of Assembly has expressed concerns over the reactions trailing yesterday’s debt profile declaration by Governor of the State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

“The Assembly as the accredited representatives of the people is duty bound to seek clarifications and inform the people of the State accordingly.

“In this regard, we have instructed the appropriate agencies of government to immediately furnish the House with the updated details of the State’s debt and financial profile.

“We hereby call on all investors and business owners not to be alarmed by the said debt profile of the State.”

Responding to the allegation, former Osun State Commissioner for Finance, Bola Oyebamiji, while clarifying the debt profile of the state, disclosed that the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s government was the one responsible for the N407bn debt burden Osun State is laboring under.

In a release made available to journalists on Friday, exonerated the Oyetola government of procuring any debt for the state.

In a statement signed by Oyebamiji, titled: ‘The fallacy of half-truth by Governor Ademola Adeleke: The true position of Osun finances under Governor Adegboyega Oyetola (Part 1),’ described the statement made by Senator Ademola Adeleke on Thursday as vindictive campaign of calumny.

Part of the statement reads:

“The 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. “

Oyebamiji also cleared the air on a loan Governor Adeleke accused Oyetola of taking after the July 16 election.

“What the state benefited from, like the 35 other states of the Federation, which was well publicized at the time (see The Punch Newspaper (punchng.com) of 19th November 2021), was the monthly intervention from the Federal Government which commenced in December 2021 and terminated in June 2022! This support was to cushion the effect of deductions from the budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous government. “The former Commissioner said.

“ For the umpteenth time, the true picture of the finances of the state is not hidden; the Annual Auditor-General’s report and the reports from the Debt Management Office (Osun and Abuja) are available for scrutiny.

“The latest comments of the incumbent governor to the effect that Governor Oyetola accessed a loan facility after the July 2022 gubernatorial election is nothing but a lie. The current government would have won an iota of credibility for itself if the details of the loan including the figure and the creditor were mentioned.

“Of significant importance is the half-truth presented by Governor Adeleke about the true position of the state’s debt portfolio. For instance, one is at a loss about how the government will report the position of the state debt, leaving out very vital information such as the dates of procurement. In accounting, it is elementary knowledge that no valid amortization schedule can be presented by a competent accountant without a valid date of procurement.

“Where then is the commercial loan traced to the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola? As presented above, all these loans were procured between 2013 and 2017 before the advent of the administration of Governor Oyetola. The question then is where is the loan procured by Governor Oyetola and who is the lender? Also, the claim that Governor Oyetola owed workers salaries and pensions to the tune of N76Bn is unfounded. The salary and pension arrears figure mentioned by Governor Adeleke was owed by the previous government and I challenge the current government to present any available facts to the contrary.

”Characteristically, the lie that the government of Governor Oyetola did not leave any money in the coffers of the State has yet sold the infant administration of Governor Adeleke short. Again, as contained in the documents made available to the new government, the following balances were available to the State as of November 26, 2022: Non-IGR Accounts: FAAC Accounts meant for Salaries = N3,541,950,501.26 (N1,106,634,659.87 (First bank Plc) and OSSG VAT Account = N2,435,315,841.39 (Sterling bank Plc); Lautech Refund Account with Wema Bank Plc = N1,563,832,985.78; Ecological Fund with United Bank for Africa = N1,206,756,053.65; Other Non-IGR Balances in Various Bank Accounts = N3,284,899,623.16; Revenue Collection in Various Bank Accounts = N2,234,916,050.36; Sukuk Bond Proceed Accounts = N5,358,332.13; Tranche 1 Bond Proceed Accounts = N9,853,250.90; Sinking Fund for Credit Agency with Wema Bank Plc= N2,000,000,000.00; and Sinking Fund on OBOPS with Sterling Bank Plc= N202,423,426.11. Thus, the total money left in the state’s coffers as of 26th November 2022 stood at N14,049,990,223.35. Any contrary information to the one presented here should be publicized with verifiable facts.

“Consequently, it is important to remind the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke that public finance remains public. No amount of effort to deliberately circumvent fact can change what is publicly available. The Government of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola promised to run a transparent government and it did until the last day in office to the commendation of well-meaning Nigerians and the international community. It will therefore serve the current government well to be serious and deploy its energy towards governing the state rather than fighting an imaginary enemy with half-truth. Government is a continuum and it must be seen as such.”

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