The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State has accused the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led government of borrowing almost N100 billion since it came on board, with “no commensurate physical development to justify its senseless borrowing spree.”
With specific reference to reports published by the Debt Management Office (DMO), the PDP expressed worries as the State’s domestic debt stock soared from N95 billion to N192 billion within two years and four months.
“According to the DMO, the domestic debt of Ogun stood at N95,174,172,678.30 as of June 30, 2019, that was a month after the departure of the previous administration.
“As of September 30, 2021, the DMO said Ogun State’s debt has jumped to a whooping N192,418,550,904.73, meaning that Abiodun alone has borrowed N97,244,378,226.43 in two years and four months as local debts.
“As a political party with good conscience, our great party is deeply troubled by the obvious fact that the state is steadily heading for the bricks under Prince Dapo Abiodun, who borrowed almost N100 billion in two years without any laudable achievement,” Ogun PDP Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to Bankole, the recent revelation by the DMO “stands as another eloquent confirmation that our dear Ogun State under the uninspiring watch of the Abiodun government is heading to the gutters,” saying the State “currently tops the list of 10 most indebted in the country in the last 9 months of 2021 after borrowing an alarming debt figure of about N38billion.”
While agreeing that a State can seek many fiscal interventions, including borrowing to expand its economic base and potentials, the PDP said the present administration was accessing loans with nothing to show for the debts incurred.
The statement reads in part: “We make bold to invite the conscious attention of the public to many abandoned road projects scattered around the state, especially in Alagbole, Akute, Ajuwon, Oja Odan, Imala, Ijoko, Ifo, Ogun Waterside and several other locations. Despite the humongous debt under this government, roads around Yewa axis of the state have become largely impassable under the very watch of a government which is manifestly bereft of capacity to promote the general good of the people.
“Apart from impassable roads which continue to claim innocent souls and properties, other public utilities continue to suffer reckless abandonment. A visit to public health facilities in Ifonyintedo, Obaningbe, Ajegunle, Ogosa, Temidire, Ado Odo, Ibese, Awagun, Ijebu, Abeokuta and several other locations readily confirm this ugly fate. All roads in urban centres are deliberately adorned with heaps of refuse as if household and industrial wastes are parts of the aesthetic designs of our roads.
“It is high time the good people of Ogun state, members of the civil society, labour unions and other patriotic tendencies began to ask straight questions. Ogun State is fast drifting in the scary face of unjustifiable indebtedness. Again, since inception, there has never been a conscious deliberate policy geared towards enhancing human capital development by the ruling government.
“Even as the government enjoys a borrowing spree, contemporary socio-economic realities show that all sectors of responsible government still suffer all manners of insensitivity, there is general insecurity across the state, even in Abeokuta, the seat of power; insecurity remains unabated.
“The echoes of excruciating economic hardship are on the increase owing to non-payment of statutory dues to the workers and non-promotion of deserving teachers and other medical personnel.
“Any sane mind is therefore tempted to query exactly what this government does with these scary debt figures. For us, perhaps of course, the ruling government has thrown its vault open for capital flight to some private vaults even outside the state in earnest preparation for the next rounds of general election next year. We hold this because there is absolutely no sensible justification for committing the future of unborn generations to an endless pit of indebtedness by the ruling APC government.
“It is fundamentally germane to inform the general public that the N38billion made available by the DMO in the first nine months of 2021 is just a part of what the state actually owes on the whole. We expect the ruling government to make public the full details of its indebtedness. That is what an honest government does. The ruling APC government under Prince Abiodun should provide such information.
“As a new year draws nearer, the PDP wishes to appeal to the members of the public, relevant stakeholders in Ogun project and indeed, members of the workforce to brace up and rise in patriotic partnership with us as we explore every legitimate means of holding the ruling APC government accountable for the ultimate benefit of the people and public probity. We have a duty to rescue Ogun state from the claws of agony that the Abiodun government represents.”