From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO and TAIWO BANKOLE, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun yesterday re-opened old wound, putting debt profile left by his predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel at N87 billion. The governor, who spoke during the inauguration of Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, as the new chairman of the state council of obas also disclosed that the state’s current debt profile stood at N25.8 billion. Oba Adetona, who succeeds Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland will hold the office for one year.
Amosun said: “As we speak today, the Ogun State debt is N25.8 billion, it has reduced a lot. I have said on my honour that I will not owe anybody and I have not owed anybody since we have resumed. “What they handed over to us when we came in 2011 showed N49.6 billion as at March 31, 2011 of course we were not sworn in until May 29. Even the day they were going they signed several cheques but we didn’t even think about that.
Even as we speak, so many people said they have been given government guarantee that in the event of default, we have to pay, when we added all of those, it was 87 billion that we met.’’ The governor, who said the state had been gradually paying back the debts, expressed satisfaction at the finances of the state, adding that N10.7 billion had been paid from the amount borrowed by his administration, which he said was N26 billion. Amosun, who pledged government continued commitment to the welfare of traditional rulers in the state, urged the new chairman to ensure rapid resolutions of pending chieftaincy and other related issues among monarchs in the state.
“We will encourage your active participation in national summits that will build your capacities to contribute meaningfully to the progress of the state in particular and Nigeria in general.’’ The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Muyiwa Oladapo expressed delight at the existing cordial relationship between the government and traditional rulers in the state. He also recalled that monarchs in the state had continued to facilitate resolution of conflicts and crisis relating to appointments of baales in their respective domains.