1. We really do not enjoy Joining issues with the current Administration in Ogun State. However, the State Government, in its wisdom, chose to call us out with Its tons of lies and misinformation carelessly crafted to obfuscate issues and concerns raised by the Debt Management Office (DMO) In the just released Data on Debt Figures of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, where the figures showed the Ogun State's skyrocketing debt at a time when by general acclaim, nothing is on ground to justify such huge debt.
2. In its statement, captioned severalty as follows 'Ogun Debt Not Property Captured by Our Predecessor', 'We uncovered Amosun Government's N50B Hidden Debt' etc. the current Administration Claimed that N50billion in unpaid pensions. gratuities and outstanding staff salaries were 'surprisingly not captured in the books left behind for the new Government. The statement further said. 'We only got to know about this amount in the course of carrying out due diligence on Ogun State finances shortly after we look over. And 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". How laughable? Should we remind them that by next month. they would have done half term? And, if the current claims are true, and they knew all these shortly after it took over, how come they kept mute for nearly two years and until the DMO raised alarm? Every reasonable and objective observer will be able to draw appropriate conclusions from this childish afterthought,
3. The claims of the Ogun State Government on the issue of its debt profile are deliberate lies. The alibi offered by Ogun State Government in response to DMO report Is laughable red herring which bothers on financial illiteracy and calculated mischief. They wore lies spurned to cover up inexplicable inadequacies.
4. For the records, and particularly for the benefit of our people and posterity, we say clearly that we did not owe or leave any liability not captured In our end of tenure and hand over report. We said that much and laid out the figures during an earlier publication In the Punch, Tribune and ThisDay Newspapers of Monday, 28 September, 2020 made in response to Ogun State Government claims on the Workers general strike. It appears that the Dapo Abiodun administration has the penchant to wish away Issues and crisis by simply hanging same on the necks of the immediate past administration, Like they say in popular parlance, things never work or get resolved by buck passing.
5. The Government of Ogun State should be sincere and factual to tell the good people of Ogun State the truth on the N58.48 difference between June 2019 after we left office and December, 2020, and how much debt it has accumulated In the period under review.
6. There is a saying in Yoruba by our people in the South West that "Omo ile-iwe to loyun to n de bellti mo over her stomach, sooner than later, the truth of the pregnancy will be out for all to see. The good people of Ogun State should please wait for DMO figures by June 2021 and December 2021 when all the lies and manipulations of the present Administration will further come to light.
7. These figures and tables tell a rather simple and straightforward story. They show factually that the claims of the Ogun State Government are lies and half truths. Contrary to the false claims made, pages 115 and 116 of the Compendium of Financial Statements 2011-2019 of our End of Tenure report contain copious notes of Salaries, Deductions and other outstanding. Indeed, in Its account (Ogun State Labour Industrial Action: Our Position. Our Offers) as contained in a publication authored by Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, Secretary to State Government dated Thursday, 17 September. 2020, the records, notes and accounts detailed in our End of Tenure report were validated in paragraph 1.1 of the publication. What is More, some records were captured in the Ogun State Government returns to the DMO save for the two columns on Pensions and Gratuity arrears, and Salaries arrears and other claims. Deliberately, and with a purpose to serve, those Iwo heads ware skewed in their response to mislead. We challenge the Ogun State Government to show how they arrived at N45.546B reflected as at June 2020.
The N10.6B refund from the Federal Government owed to our administration and earmarked specifically (and which was dearly stated in the handover mitts) for the Gratuity payment for period January 2014 to December 2016 was blocked together with the N5.7B May 2019 Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account (which was to be used specifically to augment the May, 2019 Workers Salary) by the present administration in early May 2019, before they assumed office. The refund of N10.6 Billion was paid in early July 2019, barely 6 weeks into the new administration, while the N5.7 Billion was paid in the first week of June, 2019.
A total of N20.6911 was paid and $10.613 provided for, totaling N31.4B by our administration for the period between January 2009 to December 2016,
For the record, [he total outstanding Gratuity to the State workers stood at N7,635.415,007.44 at the end of our administration in 29 May, 2019.
(I) (Local Government and SUBEB as at May, 2019)
A total SUM of N22.9B was the outstanding Gratuity for Local Government and SUBEB as against the N32.5B published. Leaving an overstated amount of N9.6B.
It is instructive to note that a backlog of 3 years left by the previous administration was paid by our administration.
8. For further clarification, our Administration cleared 18 months arrears of deductions and 3 months of unpaid salaries owed by the Administration that we succeeded, For other agencies and tertiary Institutions, we cleared several months in arrears, in some instances two years and more. Relatedly, we paid full salaries, pensions and other emoluments between 29 May, 2011 to 29 May, 2019. The records also show that verifiable gratuities arrears owed by us stood at 9322.48 billion, out of which N10.6 billion was released to the current Administration in the first week of July 2019, By the time we Mien these figures, the net outstanding liability on Gratuity left by our Administration was below N12 billion. Save for the two queried columns, our figures tally with the accounts of Ogun State Government as contained In its publication under reference and with DMO figures, We all due respect, we invite the current Administration to come clean of how much they had paid in gratuity since they look office, and, more importantly. how much more they had accumulated. If for instance the DMO records show that Ogun State Government already owed N10.839 In salary arrears as at December2020, it is left to see what the figures will climb to in December 2021.
9. The DMO mandate typically covers and reports on Institutional debts and long tenured structured loans. (between 10 and 20 years) not operational and routine obligations like salaries, pensions and gratuities. We are Curious as to the true Intentions of Ogun State Government in this attempt to transfer these routine obligations to DMO. Were they deliberately accumulating debt stook to prepare the grounds for more liabilities? Time will tell. For us, we stand by our figures as contained in our hand over notes and End of Tenure report. We do not want Ogun stakeholders and the general public to be misled or fed cruel lies by an Administration that is inwardly and outwardly deficient in governance and ideas.
Mr. Adewale Oshinowo
Immediate Past Honourable Commissioner for Finance
Ogun State Debt Figures - Fasten Your Seat Belt: We Have Entered "One Chance" This Day Newspaper and other newspapers i.e. Punch and The Tribune
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