Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State Governor, Thusday said contrary to figures being touted by his opposition, Ogun State did not owe more than N103 billion local and foreign debts.
While putting the figure of local debt by the government at about N70 billion, Amosun said the debt included N48.9 billion debt handed to him by his predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and a foreign loan of about N40 billion since the days of Olabisi Onabanjo.
Amosun stated this Thursday while addressing teachers at a ceremony marking the 2017 World Teacher’s Day, held at Arcade ground, Oke-Mosan Governor’s Office, Abeokuta, the state capital.
While justifying the recent loan request of $350 from the World Bank, Amosun said it is only rational to take the loan at 1 percent interest rate in the interest of development in the state.
The governor explained that World Bank was offering 35 percent of the entire loan allocated for Nigeria to Ogun State.
Arguing that the state was the best in terms of financial management in Nigeria, Amosun said the loans was requested because of his love for the state.
He added that, just like Lagos and Edo states, the loan would be benefitted by his successors as his administration can’t access more than 10 percent of the loan before its expiration.
He said, “Clearly, all the debt is about 103 billion including foreign and local. Even if you take the foreign loan which was about 40 billion, I didn’t take the loan, our forebears did.
“If those ones are grants with 0.5 percent, they are just like ‘dash’, when people are shouting that we are taking loans, World Bank is not stupid, what they probably have is $1 billion and they are giving Ogun State alone 35 percent of that, $350m dollars at 1 percent or 1.5 percent.
“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 percent next year because World Bank has procedures.
“Officially, Ogun State is owing little over 70 billion, the one that is local that can be ascribed to this administration. How can anybody that is rational see a loan of 1 percent and you’re saying ‘don’t take’, they clearly do not know, and you can’t give what you don’t have.
“My predecessor officially said they left N49.8 billion dollars, that was what was left in the handover note, if all that we’ve added to it is about $20 billion; can’t you see what we’ve done?”
Amosun said he opted to repay the bailout for 10 years as against 20 years proposed by the Federal Government because of his financial re-engineering in the state, saying he has saved the state.