Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has reiterated that his government has not committed the State to any debt and challenged the Debt Management Office (DMO), any financial institution or any other relevant agency with contrary fact to publish same.
Governor Fayose, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, denied that his government had borrowed N117billion, insisting that his government was not owing either by taking a bond or borrowing from any financial institution since he assumed office for a second term on October 16, 2014.
He said he challenged those accusing him of borrowing the amount, the All Progressive Congress (APC), to publish any debt he owes on behalf of the State since he assumed office.
The governor was reacting to a position by the transition committee set up by the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, that fresh documents from the DMO showed that Fayose had incurred N117billion debt outside the salaries owed workers of the State.
Fayose, who dismissed the figures, said: “I have not committed Ekiti to one naira debt since I assumed office as Governor for the second term. I haven’t borrowed from any financial institution.
“The Debt Management Office (DMO), and the Federal Ministry of Finance are the approving authority. Fayemi should publish any document from these approving authorities showing any money borrowed by my administration.
“I did not borrow, take any bond or borrow from any commercial bank. The figure which Fayemi is talking about is the money his administration borrowed which was restructured as it was done for other States.
“The administration of Fayemi brought Ekiti to N25 billion bond and N32 billion commercial loans and the State will pay the bond until the year 2022. The commercial loan was restructured like it was done for other states.”
According to him, “in my first tenure, I left N10.4 billion in the coffers of government but I started this administration on October 16, 2014, meeting huge debt incurred by my predecessor, John Kayode Fayemi.”
Reacting to accusations that he bought a new vehicle for himself and approved severance allowances for himself and deputy, he said “when Fayemi was leaving as governor in 2014, he left with a car which he bought for himself and so did other governors before him. So, you can’t expect me also not to have a befitting car when I am leaving office. Fayemi is only displaying hypocrisy.
“Fayemi himself ordered a ‘jeep’ of almost N7 million for me when l was still governor-elect in 2014, but he didn’t pay for it. I had also bought a ‘jeep’ for former Governor Niyi Adebayo to honour him. That is how it is done every four years.
“If Fayemi’s government wants to probe me, I will present myself and would not behave like a coward like he did. I have served Ekiti, l have given my best. Relevant documents will be handed over to the incoming administration at the appropriate time.”
On why he didn’t pay outstanding salaries as he promised, Fayose blamed it on the Federal Government, alleging that the government at the centre deliberately refused to pay debts it owed Ekiti.
He claimed that “if Federal Government had paid all outstanding it is owing Ekiti, l would not be owing to any salary now. The FG is owing Ekiti budget support of two months now, the Paris Club refund was withheld and they have refused to also pay the refund of N11 billion for the federal roads which the State did.
“If the FG had paid these outstanding, I wouldn’t be owing Ekiti workers any salaries now. Deliberately, the FG withheld them so that I am not able to offset the four months workers salaries before Ekiti election. Still, Ekiti people voted for PDP.
“The FG recently paid Osun State over N16 billion but deliberately refused to pay Ekiti its own. They are waiting for when Fayemi will be sworn in and pay him. That is okay with me as long as the ordinary Ekiti man benefit from it. Ekiti owns the money.”