The Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday, condemned the decision of Governor Seyi Makinde to source for N100 billion bond to finance projects in the state.
The governor had announced his plan to borrow the money for the construction of some roads in the state.
But, the APC, in a statement signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Dr. AbdulAzeez Olatunde, said seeking to finance projects in the magnitude of the Ibadan circular road by directly seeking for a loan was laughable, misleading and undoubtedly showed signs of no foresight.
APC said it was surprised by the government’s decision to borrow money.
“This is the governor who bragged in his inauguration address of exporting maize to Botswana to attract foreign exchange to boost Oyo State Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) and was shouting at the rooftop of meeting debt from his predecessor in his early hours of assumption of office, thinking that his own government would not add to the debt profile of Oyo State at all,” Olatunde said.
Olatunde further said that in the business of governance, there was nothing bad in borrowing, in as much there were commensurate projects.
“Interestingly, there was a contractor in place as at 29th of May 2019, when Governor Makinde took over. The Company, ENL Consortium has committed about N7 billion to the Ibadan Circular Road Project.
“Why revoking the contract which is based on a Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model, and the government attempting to seek loans to finance the same project? Retrospectively, the governor who demonstrated his naivety in the business of governance on an occasion of one of his visitations to the sites last year, ordered the contractor, ENL Consortium to “stop work.” It was when he was schooled that a “government does not have the power to stop work on a project it is not financing, that he had a rethink.
“World over, Public-Private Partnerships(PPP) is the order of the day, especially for projects which can’t be funded by government 100%. It was in that wisdom, that the Abiola Ajimobi’s government adopted the model of Public-Private Partnerships in ensuring that the Ibadan Circular Road Project got commitment in funding as deserves.
“The project is to be operated on “Build-Operate-Transfer”(BOT) Model where ENL Consortium will source for the funds, toll it upon completion and transfer it to the government having realised their investment without interference.
“It’s this same model that was used for the Lekki-Epe Road and other projects of such magnitudes in Lagos and other enlightened states and abroad,” he stated.
He further said it was laughable and an insensitive move that the government was seeking to commit part of the bond to financing projects at the Ibadan Airport.
According to him, “If Oyo State Government is really committed to the upgrading of the Alakia Airport, lobbying of the Federal Government through FAAN should be the best approach.
“The Federal Government recently through the Minister of Works, H. E, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) gave a standing order that state governments shouldn’t undertake projects under the Federal Government purview, else the state concerned won’t be paid for the projects.
“One can begin to ask that is Oyo State Government another Father Christmas, seeking to fund a project it won’t be getting paid for? At a time we are yet to see the value of the N7.6 billion loan for Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements. At a time we are yet to see the impact of the N22. 5 billion infrastructure loan, seeking for a bond to the tune of N100 billion is the most insensitive step at this stage; committing Oyo State treasury to refund N100 billion loan whether in short term and long term is amateurish, especially as it concerns public finance.
“If the government of Engr Seyi Makinde eventually gets the N100 billion loan, it would have successfully increased Oyo State debt profile by adding N139.5 billion within two years. How much debt would the government of Engr Seyi Makinde plunge Oyo State to before winding down?”