The immediate past governor of Ondo state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, says Governor Rotimi Akeredolu lied that his administration left a debt of N220.6 billion.
According to him, his administration left N20bn in the coffers of the state and not N220.6 billion as being claimed by Akeredolu.
Reacting to claims by Akeredolu on Wednesday that he inherited a debt burden of N220bn from his predecessor, Mimiko in a statement said Ondo State did not incur any foreign debt in all his eight years in power.
A statement issued by the former Commissioner for Information under the Mimiko administration, Kayode Akinmade, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the speech made by the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu on the state of finances inherited on February 24, 2017. We are concerned by the figures in the speech and feel obliged to put the records straight.
For the avoidance of any doubt, our administration left about N20Billion in the coffers of the State at its exit on February 2017. This include: N7.37.Billion in the Current Account; N7.53Billion as Fixed Deposit; N1.2Billion in the MDG Account; $346,000 and 443,000Euro in the Domiciliary Account, including the N825million Sure-P fund at the Local Government Account!
The above amount, most of which came late into our tenure was to be used to offset a chunk of owed salaries before the then Accountant General made a curious disappearance. On figures listed as External Debt, it is necessary to state the following. Our administration did not incur any foreign debt in all its 8 years! Also, the External debt stock as at February 2017 was US $ 49,958,268.49, which (if translated at 1 US $ = N305) is N15.23 billion. All of these external debt stock was inherited from previous administrations.
Pointing that Mimiko’s administration did not contract any external loan, Akinmade said the debt being incurred had spanned over twenty years.
Again, we did not contract any external loan for all of our 8 years! Well aware of the fact that government is a continuum, we continued to service the debts, some of which spanned over twenty years. Internal debt profile, we aver, stood at N53.159 billion comprising mainly of salary bail out loan of N13.76 billion, Excess Crude Account loan N9.79 billion, CBN restructuring FGN Bond N4.13 billion, CBN budget support N7.5 billion and Ondo State 7-Year bond of N17.6 billion.
Of all the above-listed indebtedness, only the Ondo State 7-Year Bond was directly incurred by our government to build major infrastructure across the State. Yes, we experienced the sad reality of salaries arrears like almost all the States of the federation. That is why unpaid salaries for the period August 2016 to Jan 2017 was N32.40 billion, with N20.93 billion owed State Government Workers and N11.469 billion owed Local government workers, including political appointees.
Even at that, it must also be clear that we left office on the 24th February 2017 while Federal Allocation for February 2017 salaries was received by the incumbent Government on the 28th of February, 2017. We could not have paid February salaries when we did not receive February allocation before exit.
On Pensions, a sum of N4.8billion was said to be owed by the State Government and N25.237billion by the local governments. We wonder where these figures came from.”