Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has accused his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, of putting the State in debt and “borrowing recklessly.”
Obaseki made the allegation on Sunday during the Edo Governorship debate organized by Channels Television.
“Let me make some points very clear. What happened is that my predecessor in office borrowed recklessly and the Federal Government had to restructure all the debts that we have taken before I came into office,” Obaseki said while answering a question about the debt profile of the State.
“These included a whole series of bank borrowings, borrowing to pay salaries. So, the Federal Government restructured outstanding obligations to Edo State, to the tune of almost N30 billion. That was what was responsible for adding to the debt stock, not borrowings from this administration.”
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He also alleged that the immediate past government was owing contractors, amounting to about N70 billion, pegging the debt owed by the state at more than N120 billion.
Governor Obaseki said despite the debt profile of Edo State, his government has been able to provide development.
Despite having a debt burden, Obaseki has given his administration thumps up for servicing the debt and also providing the needed development to the people.
Is It Sustainable?
“It is not the quantum of debts, it is what you use the debts to procure,” the PDP candidate added. “So as long as you are able to invest your borrowings productively and ensure growth in the economy, then you have enough income to pay back those debts on a sustainable basis.”
While thanking God and Edo people for trusting him to lead them, Obaseki said things standing on the path of growth have been bulldozed.
Obaseki promised if given another opportunity to serve as the Edo State Governor, to open up the State to endless possibilities.
– Scandalous –
His main challenger and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo State election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, says Governor Obaseki has spent over 75billion naira on projects that have all gone to waste.
“It is scandalous that the incumbent governor is attributing the huge debt owed by Edo State, to a predecessor in whose government Obaseki served as a chief economic adviser,” he alleged.
“Sometimes you seem to forget the role you played in the past government,” the APC candidate told Obaseki.