Nigeria: Edo Govt Chides PDP Over Debt Status

20 March 2018

The Edo State Government has flayed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for making unfounded claims of the state's debt status, noting that the party was being mischievous with facts.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the state government has been prudent with external borrowings incurred since the All Progressives Congress (APC) came on board and has utilised all the credits judiciously to fund developmental projects.

Osagie said a significant portion of the debts the state is currently paying off was incurred by the PDP government in the state at the height of its dubious foray into borrowing, for which it got so notorious in squandering, that several multilateral organisations blacklisted the state from their financing facilities.

According to him, "As at today, Edo state is still paying a N30 billion debt taken from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of water infrastructure. There is also a Union Bank loan taken and put in the balance sheet of Edo Line. 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."

Osagie said that it was disheartening that an entity that exhibited the most primitive understanding of public finance would then come out to make unfounded claims about the prudent management of the state's finances by a globally renowned investment banker.

He said, "The PDP is still raising evil guts to talk about these debts, when in fact, they are the ones who threw the state into the debts. The PDP were so irresponsible in debts and loans that the World Bank placed a ban on Edo State government. These loans were of single digit interest and the moratorium ran into 10 years."

He noted that it was not until the APC came into government and reformed the state's finance, that they were able to access these financing facilities from multilateral organisations.

Osagie added, "It was during the reign of the PDP that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) pulled out of the state because of the irresponsibility of the government at the time. The PDP lacks the credibility and moral standing to make any comment.

"They are made up of people who lack the capacity to frugally allocate resources for positive outcomes. Debts at low interest rates are actually good for development and shows the state as viable. It is even better when the debts are used to fund developmental projects."

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