The Ogun State Government has refused to give details of how much had been borrowed by the incumbent Governor, Dapo Abiodun since he assumed office on May 29, 2019.
Ogun Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadeo said he was surprised with the question, asking if that was important. SURGENIG NEWS NIGERIA recalls that the Abiodun government had denied borrowing N58billion in the last 18 months as indicated in a report published by the Debt Management Office.
Following the counter-claims between Abiodun and his predecessor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, over the debt profile of Ogun State, our correspondent contacted the Finance Commissioner for clarifications.
Okubadejo was asked to give details of how much the present government had borrowed since it came on board. But, Okubadejo expressed surprise over the question, saying a lot of journalists writing about the debt profile of the state are not financially literate.
The Commissioner said reports of journalists on the debt stock of the state showed their ignorance.
“I am very surprised about your questioning; and a lot of you (journalists) are not financially literate to understand these issues. After you realised you didn’t get your facts right, you are asking how much the current administration borrowed. Is that what is important?” he asked.
He spoke further, saying, “That is why I don’t understand what you people are writing. It just shows your ignorance.”
Recalls that Abiodun, on assumption of office, said he borrowed N7billion on May 31, 2019 by calling his friends, who were banks executives on phone.
The N7billion loan, Abiodun said, was used to pay May 2019 workers’ salary.
“I picked my phone and called my friends who are MDs in different banks. I told them I needed to pay salaries and this is the little I have; almost nothing in the state account.
“I requested for a credit facility to allow me to pay over N7bn which is the state wage bill. That day, my intention was that maybe one or two will oblige me, but the five banks I called obliged me.”
Abiodun expressed satisfaction that he was able to make Ogun workers happy by paying their salaries with the loan he reportedly obtained through phone calls.
However, the governor came under heavy criticisms as stakeholders in the state accused him of taking such a ‘huge’ loan without following due process.
It was argued that such a loan could not be obtained under a due process without the approval of the Ogun State House of Assembly.