The controversial N7.6 billion allegedly borrowed by Oyo State Government had been clarified by the sitting Governor, Seyi Makinde. He said the loan collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not fresh and was taken by his predecessors, former governor Abiola Ajimobi took.
Makinde explained that his administration only approached the House of Assembly on Thursday to seek approval to use the loan facility for purposes other than what it was originally meant for.
A statement issued on Friday by Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, quotes Makinde as saying that the clarification was expedient to correct misconceptions that his administration was obtaining a fresh N7.6 billion loan.
The governor said that CBN had started to deduct money to the state from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to repay the loan.
He said that the Ajimobi administration took the loan to purchase ‘agricultural equipment’, but his administration intended to use the loan to develop farm settlements in Eruwa and Akufo as pilot scheme.
According to him, the pilot scheme would be used as a model for the state-wide farm estate initiative of his administration.
He said that government had limited the scope of the project to Akufo and Eruwa Farm Settlements, which were in the same federal constituency, to allow for effective planning, monitoring, evaluation and coordination of the pilot scheme.
”The farm settlements will serve as pilot scheme for our Private Public Development Partnership (PPDP) Farm Estates and will eventually generate funds to develop the other seven farm settlements in the state.
”This is a deliberate plan aimed at creating sustainable development in the state and the project will extend to other settlements across the state, as this administration will remain fair to all zones in the state,” Makinde said.
The governor further said that the N10 billion loan approved for his government by the state legislature in July was intact, as it has not yet been accessed.
He said the N10 billion loan was meant for specific infrastructural development projects and that his government would start accessing the loan to fund the projects ”once the Due Process Office is through with the approval process of hiring contractors for the earmarked projects.
“Our administration will continue to be transparent and accountable to our people about how public funds are utilised in the state.
”We will ensure that our people get value for any project that will be executed and also ensure that infrastructural development projects are tied to our economy.” Makinde added.