• Tony Igele

No Borrowing For Now- Obaseki

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has indicated his administration’s resolve not to go for loans as the current interest rates were unbearable for the state economy.

Instead, he opted for building and strengthening institutions that would not only help to drive the economy to greater heights, but would outlive the public officers.

“Sometime ago, we borrowed from the capital market. We would sit and look through our fiscal plans and we would make a determination at that point, whether we would still come back to the market.

From the look of things, except the interest rate comes down, we are not likely to borrow. We would not be able to come to the bond market, except the interest rate comes down, because, we may not be able to sustain the debt service.”

He stressed the need for responsive governance where wastes are avoided or turned into wealth for the people and reiterated his resolve to make Edo State the Economic hub of Nigeria.

“In the case of Edo, we are trying to practice what we preach. Good governance. Make sure the state is grounded in good governance and accountable to the people. We are blessed and we are the heartbeat of Nigeria. You can imagine if you remove the heart”, the governor continued.

The governor, who was at the Debt Management Office (DMO), to congratulate the newly appointed Director General, Patience Oniha, stressed that that Nigeria was at economic crossroads, needing clear headed persons for the right direction.

He therefore described the choice of Oniha as one of the best decisions the federal government has taken so far, stressing that Oniha has the quality of mind and character, credibility and integrity to manage the system.

Moreso, Gov. Obaseki who had served in the federal government committee that midwife the birth of the DMO, underscored the closeness of the Office to his heart and enjoined the staff to cooperate with the new headship to enable them deliver on promise.

In her response, the DMO chief noted that looking at the books, Edo state has been compliant on all counts including, “sending us their debt data’, adding, “we congratulate them for cooperating with us in that regard”.

According to her, the law recognizes the States for being responsible for fiscal laws relating to the States, but “we decided to partner with them in the belief that Nigeria is one project, hence we should not be looking at the centre and we should be looking at the various tiers of governments.

So what we did in that regards was to work with the various tiers of the states to have enabling laws, create their own debt managements and then help them, work with them through training and other activities to create their own domestic debt data”.

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