By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke on Thursday said his administration inherited N407.32 billion debt from the immediate past government of Adegboyega Oyetola.
Adeleke, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Osun State Council of Obas, led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in Osogbo, put the total loan stock of the state at N331.32 billion, with N76 billion as debt on salaries and pension.
Adeleke said this was the official debt profile of the state as at November 30th, 2022 as submitted to him by the Accountant General, adding that the amount owed contractors has not yet been determined.
The governor said his meeting with the traditional rulers was in line with his pledge to run an open and transparent government.
According to him, his administration inherited eight outstanding loan facilities, apart from salaries and pension debts from the Oyetola administration.
Adeleke said: “Former Governor Oyetola must explain how the N331billion borrowed in the name of Osun State was expended, with no obvious infrastructural development to justify this huge debt.
“Governor Oyetola must explain how the N18 billion bridge loan taken after he lost the election on July 16, 2022, was expended.
“Governor Oyetola must also explain why Osun State is owing salaries and pension to the tune of N76 billion after collecting a N50 billion salary bail out loan from the Federal Government
“The creditors, especially the commercial banks must explain why various loans were given to an administration beyond its 4 years
tenure. Twenty-eight years is equivalent to the tenure of at least four governors. A child that is born today would have earned a PhD at 28 years of age. This is nothing but mortgaging the future of Osun State with nothing to show for it. This is definitely not acceptable.”
Adeleke added that the only fund in government coffers, as at Monday 29th November, was for November 2022 salary, adding that the state treasury was empty when he assumed office.
Responding, Oba Ogunwusi commended the governor for bringing the matter before the traditional rulers.
He, however, urged the governor to avoid distractions and face governance as much as he’s trying to ensure accountability, a position that other traditional rulers also shared.
Also, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, who differed in his opinion said although, he would not dispute the figures that were reeled out and not averse to accountability, but expressed doubt over Oyetola’s culpability.
He said: “I would not support the opinion that the governor should not look into those figures as presented to him by the Account General of the state. There must be accountability as this would help to know whether it is true or false. But for me, I don’t think and I don’t believe Oyetola can do such things.”