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Two Parties Clash Over Edo's $232.2m Foreign Debt


The ruling All Progressives Congress in Edo State and the Peoples Democratic Party have traded words over the state’s foreign external debt burden.

The Debt Management Office had in its latest statistics ranked Edo as the third highest debtor to foreign creditors among sub-national governments in Nigeria.

According to the data, Edo State owes $232.2m as of December, 2017, coming behind Lagos and Kaduna, which owed $1.47bn and $238.28m, respectively.


...paying private loans with tax payers money.

...Cesspool of corruption unveiled.

A few days ago, the Debt Management Office, DMO, released figures that showed that Edo State is the third highest debtor state in Nigeria. We refuted that assertion because figures available to us say Edo state is second only to Lagos state. However, we have written to DMO to review their figures so that Edo people are properly informed.

Another revelation of the precarious Debt situation in Edo state is the debt to revenue ratio as it can give an indication of the capacity of the debtor to service and repay the debt .

According to the Guidelines of the Debt Management Office on debt sustainability, the debt status of States should not exceed 50 per cent of the statutory revenue in the previous 12 months.

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission 2016 Annual Report released yesterday -19 March 2018, in Abuja, stated;

“In the light of the DMO ’s guidelines on the Debt Management Framework, specifically, sections 222 to 273 of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007 pertaining to debt sustainability", the debt status of Edo State exceeds 270% per cent of its annual revenues.

It is not a secret that Adams Oshiomhole and the then Chairman of his Economic team and now Governor, Governor Godwin Obaseki have left Edo State poorer than they met it in 2008. I make bold to say that Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki are far richer than they were at the time they assumed office.

That's a story for another day.

Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Media Aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki, in his usual diatribe made some wild and disturbing allegations against the past PDP government in Edo state regarding debt. He talked about debt incurred for water infrastructure in Edo state, but he failed to tell Edo people that Governor Obaseki and ex Governor Oshiomhole colluded and sold off all the assets of the state water board to themselves. All the pipes, over 15000 pipes, water pumps, machines and generating sets purchased for the purpose of the water infrastructure development in the state were sold off and the state water board left comatose.

I will ignore the insinuation made regarding Edo line as Edo people know better. But what was most disturbing and deserves immediate action is the revelation that "These are besides several other such borrowings, which officials of the PDP government took privately and converted to state liability. The State Government is still paying all these debts.”

Quite frankly, this is criminal and unacceptable. Edo PDP on behalf of Edo people want the names of the government officials or official involved in this scam named. We want to know the amount borrowed, the financial institutions involved and date the facility was approved. We also want to know how much EDSG has repaid.

We are appalled that EDSG is covering this fraud. The perpetrators must be exposed. It's unacceptable!

We stand by our statement that the APC Government since assumption of office in 2008 has been careless, irresponsible and unaccountable in the utilization of state funds and resources. They have led Edo state into a bottomless pit of debt.


Chris Osa Nehikhare



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