- BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado Ekiti•
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has put the debts left behind by his predecessor, Ayodele Fayose at N155, 791,785,214.08.
Delivering the State of the State address at the State House of Assembly, governor Fayemi said the sum was the total debt profile of Ekiti State as at 16th October 2018.
Fayemi said he inherited “a State that was in total chaos and a people severely disorientated under a suppressive government who had raised and promoted deceit into statecraft”.
Fayemi spoke just as the Speaker of the House, Hon Adediran Alagbada lamented that the immediate past administration of ex-Governor Fayose, denied the House members their salaries and furniture allowances despite making appropriations that covered such expenses.
The governor stated that his administration had distanced itself from “political witch-hunting and media trials to score cheap political goals” but decided to give the State of the State in order to use the “lessons of the past to create the future of our dreams”.
Fayemi disclosed that Ekiti State under Fayose received #184.83 billion as income between 2014 and 2018; noting that the former governor had no reason to owe salaries given the huge revenue that accrued to the State during the immediate past administration.
While giving a breakdown of the debt profile, Fayemi said though borrowing is in itself not a bad thing, borrowing to fund self-serving and unproductive projects is unpatriotic.
He gave the breakdown of the debt as follows:
Loans and bonds N57, 694,460,298.79; salary arrears N16, 777,257,608.52; outstanding leave bonus N4, 402,585,167.53; corpers allowances N28, 883,959.00; outstanding subventions N4, 770,676,870.98; pension and gratuity arrears N39, 775,919,872.02, and outstanding contractors claims N28, 575,946,572.25.
Others include Outstanding furniture allowance N470, 266,137.09; severance allowance N586, 144,167.51; monetised vehicle arrears N101, 243,387.24; outstanding warrants N386, 77,450.64; outstanding FIRS obligation N184, 215,623.43; Traditional rulers arrears N150, 214,204.10; judgement debts N95, 048,963.35 and other outstanding liabilities N1, 792,144,931.62.
Fayemi said the debt profile was a product of the audit carried out by Pricewater Coopers (PWC).
The governor stated that he had used the first 100 days of his administration to “lay the needed foundation to restore our values and restore Ekiti State to its rightful position in the comity of States”.
“This is our first stewardship in the series of others to be witnessed in the life of this administration in the fulfilment of our obligation to Ekiti people. As a government, we are more interested in building and strengthening institutions rather than wielding powers or self-aggrandisement.
“This is the world best practice in governance and we are proud to thread that path to attain speedy economic recovery and value restoration for Ekiti State”, he said.
He called on corporate organisations, donor agencies, the federal government and Ekiti people to support his administration in moving Ekiti State forward “economically, socially and politically”.
Speaking on the forthcoming election, Fayemi urged everyone to play by the rules and be law abiding; urging Ekiti people to use the election to consolidate the gains of his administration in the last 100 days.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon Adeniran Alagbada said Ekiti people have now got “new hope through the policies and programmes of the Fayemi-led government”.
Alagbada who said the 100 days of Fayemi in government is “better than the four years of Fayose” called on Ekiti people to rally support for the governor to succeed.
He lamented the poor treatment meted out to members of the House by the Fayose administration, in spite of their support for the former Governor.
He said, the House had it on record that it made appropriation for all government expenses and that it was sad that despite their support the former Governor denied them their salaries, allowances and furniture allowances were well provided for in the four budgets they passed during the duration of the administration.