Osun debt is over N300b, group alleges

As different stakeholders continue to demand the debt profile of Osun State, a rights group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social justice, (CHRSJ), has alleged that the debt is over N300b as it gathered.

The group dared the state Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, to declare the original debt profile if the group was not truthful.

A statement by the Executive Chairman of the group, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, made available to newsmen on Monday, said the N197b released as debt profile of the state by the National Bureau of Statistics does not cover all the debts.

According to the group, monthly deduction of about N2.4billion from the state allocation is enough to let the people of the state know that the loan is “gargantua.

“Concern stakeholders do not need forensic expert to know the actual loan obtained by Rauf Aregbesola’s administration because Osun has been
using over N2.4 billion to service debt since early quarter of 2014.

“Unsuspected people of the state just recently
learnt about the monthly deduction of over N2.4billion for re-servicing the gargantuan debt since four (4) years ago and to our dismay, it is going to be paying for the period of twenty (20) years.

“It is our believe that the finances in the budget of a State like ours should be made open and transparent but reverse was the case.

Alleging that Rauf Aregbesola’s government failed to give the accurate total loan incurred by the administration to the people of the State, the group said the state government has been giving different figures to suit its whims and caprices, until
recently when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) came out with the N197billion debt profile of the State.

“As it is today, the debt of the State was at the range
of N300 billion to N350 billion locally, nationally and
internationally which includes local loans which was not captured by NBS, Pension Contribution deductions, Cooperatives deductions,
backlogs of workers’ salary and pension arrears, local contractors and other funds, adding that “this debt was not sustainable for the state.

The debt, which payment expected to span 20 years after Aregbesola might have exited office, would leave the state in heavy burden.

A human right lawyer, Mr. Kanmi Ajibola, had secured a court order from the state Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, compelling the state Governor to declare the debt profile of the state with all the modalities.

The group further alleged that Aregbesola and his aides had stolen the sum of $1billion, money belonging to the people of the state in the last seven years.

When converted, the group stated that the funds amounting to about N365billion has been stolen through various projects by the Aregbesola’s administration.

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