Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has assured the citizens that all conventional loans expended on infrastructures would be settled next year.
Aregbesola gave the assurance at an interactive programme tagged “Ogbeni Till Daybreak” in Osogbo, the state capital.
He said while the conventional loans, largely due to the Federal Government bailouts, would be settled in 2019, the balance of the Sukuk bond would be fully paid in 2020.
He allayed the fears that the developmental strides of the state could be handicapped by the burden of the loans.
“N171.4 billion is the total debt so far owed. You can be assured that there will be no kobo left unsettled of the N30 billion conventional loan before the administration winds up in the remaining 200 days.
“On Sukuk bond, by September 2020, N11.4 billion Sukuk would have been settled,” the governor said.
He explained that the debt profile of the state was not as bad as being speculated, stressing that the loans were taken to finance capital projects for the development.
“We borrowed the money for infrastructural development and not for businesses.
“In a liberal economy like ours, the government has no business doing business, the responsibility of government is to provide enabling environment for businesses to three.
“We have invested well and this is the reason Osun is always rated among the first three, with highest indices of measuring development.
“Despite modulated salaries, Osun State has the highest development index in human happiness – a critical area of measuring development.
“It is because we have invested well. The job of the government is to invest in those things that can make life easy for people and to do business. It is not the duty of government to do business.”
The Accountant General of the State, Mr Kolawole Akintayo, corroborated the governor’s claims, by giving the accurate figures of debt stock at the programme monitored live on a national television and radio stations.
Akintayo said the total debt left of the state to pay was N143.6 billion, against the false figures being circulated by members of the opposition in the state.
“The total debt of the State of Osun is N171.4 billion in the last seven years. A sum of N28 billion had been paid, leaving a balance of N143.6 billion debt,” the accountant general said.