The Ekiti State Government yesterday clarified that it is owning N59.5 billion in debt and not N177 billion.

It stated that the administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose did not commit the State to any financial institution in form of bonds and commercial loans.

In a statement statement by the Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communication and New Media, Mr Lere Olayinka on Sunday, the government pointed out that no loan can be granted without the approval of the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Federal Ministry of Finance and challenged the two offices should publish details of any loan taken by the Fayose administration, including the banks that granted such loans.

The state government was reacting to the claim by the Transition Committee set up by governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi to interface with the outgoing government that the latest debt figure released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) revealed that the state debt profile has increased from N18 billion hich Fayose inherited from Fayemi in 2014 to N117 billion.

The committee said the figure was outside arrears of salaries, pensions, gratuities and money owed contractors by the Fayose administration.

The government, which said Fayemi was already preparing excuses for his impending failure, declared that “unlike him (Fayemi) who was not courageous enough to answer questions on his administration before a duly constituted probe panel, Governor Fayose is not afraid of being probed either by the state or federal government.”

“Ekiti State indebtedness stands at N59.5 billion that was either directly inherited from the Fayemi’s administration or incurred as a result of the loans restructuring done at the instance of the federal government and the Federal Economic Council.”

He gave the breakdown as follows; Commercial Bank Loan, N2,087,788,065.28; CBN Grant for Water Project, N163,450,000; Excess Crude Account Backed Loan, N9,545,173,472.78; Bailout, N9,083,761,215.40; FGN Bonds, N18,226,699,707.18; State Bonds, N3,484,469,345.51 and Budget Support, N16,869,000,000.

“Particularly, the N10 billion grant released from the Excess Crude Account for capital projects was fund that should normally accrue to all States.

“Most importantly, we admit that the State workers are being owed four months’ salary and this was occasioned by the monthly deductions from the State allocation as a result of huge debt incurred by the Fayemi administration. Even the N9.5 billion bailout fund was for the payment of the arrears of salaries and deduction left unpaid by the Fayemi’s government.”

Olayinka accused the federal government of deliberately refusing to release legitimate funds belonging to Ekiti State to the Fayose government, having concluded to rig the governorship election for Fayemi.

He said N22.6 billion refund on federal roads construction, N2.1 billion arrears of Budget Support and N14.1 billion Paris Club refund, making N38.8 billion, which should have been paid to the State since June is billed to be released in November to Fayemi’s government.

He admonished Fayemi to use the N38.8 billion to clear the arrears of workers salary, which would have been paid by now if the federal government had released the fund, on the basis of which Governor Fayose promised to clear arrears of workers salary before leaving office.

While declaring that there was no way he (Fayemi) can equal what Fayose’s government did in the last four years and that ground was already being prepared for his disastrous brief tenure, the governor’s spokesperson counselled Fayemi to face the task of defending the mandate those who held on to legitimate funds belonging to Ekiti State helped him to steal instead of threading the usual path of deceiving the public to cover up his impending failure.