The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has announced the discovery of N50 billion domestic debt left behind by the administration of Ibikunle Amosun.
He said the financial liability was not accounted for in the financial report handed over to him in May 2019.
Mr Abiodun’s statement was a reaction to the report by the Debt Management Office which stated that the Ogun government incurred N58 billion domestic debt within the period of Mr Abiodun’s administration.
According to the DMO report published March 15, it shows that from June 30, 2019, to December 30, 2020, the Ogun State Government had incurred a total of N58,316,493,347 local debts.
But Mr Abiodun disagreed, saying N58 billion by the immediate past administration in the state on the domestic debt had an impact on the DMO report.
The governor in a statement by his chief press secretary, Kunle Somorin, said the state got this hidden debt during its investigation.
“We only got to know about this amount in the course of our carrying out due diligence on Ogun State finances shortly after we took over.
“As a transparent government committed to being accountable, we had to disclose this for the first time to give a true picture of the state’s indebtedness.
“Governor Dapo Abiodun has started paying the retirees and pensioners affected, with the first tranche of N500m paid to them last month. Every quarter, the governor has promised to pay them at least N500m until everyone is paid.
“The increase in the 2020 total debt of the state was due to an undisclosed gratuity and staff liabilities of about N50bn not recognised in the state financial statements in May 2019 at the end of the previous administration.
“In order to show the complete picture of all state liabilities, the current administration booked the gratuities and staff liabilities in the financial statements of the state hence the increase.
“Residents and citizens of the state can attest to how Gov Abiodun is completing all the abandoned projects of his predecessor and commencing signature projects and roads.
“The governor has concentrated on his ‘Building Our Future Together’ with special attention to infrastructure, health, education and agriculture.
“Also, the welfare and security of the people which are the primary functions of government are equally on the front-burner”, he said.
PREMIUM TIMES efforts to get Mr Amosun’s reaction as of the time of filing this report were unsuccessful. He did not respond to calls and text messages on Tuesday morning. The phone lines of his spokesperson, Rotimi Durojaiye, was also switched off.