The Ekiti State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has raised the alarm over fresh bid by Governor Ayodele Fayose to borrow another N22b from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission “that will compound the state’s debt burden”.
It urged the commission to reject the Fayose’s application, arguing that the governor has not been able to explain how he spent about N50b loan he has taken so far in the last three years to reflect in projects implementation and improved living conditions of Ekiti people.
Fayose had told the officials of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission during their recent visit to Ekiti State that his administration would approach the commission to source loan for some capital projects, including Ire Burnt Bricks Company, Ipole Iloro Water Fall, and Ikogosi Bottling Company, among others.
But CNPP scoffed at the suggestion, warning against plunging the state into “suffocating debts for selfish interest”.
In a statement after its monthly meeting on Tuesday (today) by Public Relations Officer, Ayo Adelabu, the group criticised Fayose’s preference for “reckless loan-taking” instead of spending several loans he had taken so far judiciously to make meaningful impacts in the state’s infrastructure development and social conditions of the people.
Noting that Fayose cannot explain how he had spent about N50b loans he had taken so far to the people in projects implementation, salaries and pensions payments, including gratuity payments, the conference said it was unwise to take another loan to compound the state’s economic burden, including plunging the state into a zero allocation burden after deductions of the loans taken so far from source.
Describing Fayose’s plan to spend the proposed loan on tourism and regenerative projects as hypocritical, the group explained that the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi invested heavily on those projects, but which Fayose intentionally left to rot away.
Appealing to the commission not to grant the loan to help the governor put Ekiti State into unnecessary debt burden “for selfish motives”, the statement explained:
“Fayose abandoned revenue generating projects, such as Ikogosi Warm Springs, the Civic Centre, Ire Burnt Bricks and Ekitiparapo Pavilion, which roof was blown off and the structure is left in such decay since two years ago.
“Fayose has a history of illegal diversion of Ekiti money as can be explained in the poultry project cash still being prosecuted at the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti.
“He diverted the two tranches of bailout totalling about N20b and refused to spend part of the money to pay salaries, pensions and severance package of former political office holders as agreed in the bailout protocol.
“Without the knowledge of workers and Ekiti people, Governor Fayose secretly took a monthly loan of N1.3b for 10 months as Budget Support Facility totalling N13b to pay workers salaries but diverted the entire money to flyover and new market projects in which he allegedly had interest.
“With this background, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the governor will also divert the fresh N22b he wants to borrow from Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, particularly as that action is coming at the end of his tenure as governor.”
The conference also accused the governor of alleged fraudulent upward reviews of the flyover cost four times from the initial N5.9b to the latest figure of N14.5b on a project that can’t generate revenue, arguing that such money could have been spent on revenue-generating projects, such as Ikogosi Resort, Ire Burnt Bricks, the abandoned civic centre and Ekitiparapo Pavilion.
“Fayose’s proposal to spend money on Ipole Iloro waterfalls and developing other tourism projects is hypocritical having neglected the main Ikogosi tourist project, which had started generating revenue before his predecessor left office.
“Fayose has a history of profligacy and he is on record to have been involved in many graft cases, one of which is the N1.3 billion poultry project in which he is still standing trial while he is also under investigation over about N4billion traced to his account suspected to be part of Dasukigate arms scandal.
“This kind of governor is not qualified for such a loan, which we believe he will fritter away again as usual and end up in private pockets, thus throwing the state into everlasting debt bondage,” the statement concluded.