Following revelations by the Debt Management Office in April, 2019, that Edo State foreign debt portfolio stands at $276.25million, second to Lagos State with $1.43bn, Edo based human rights activist, Comrade Patrick Eholor, yesterday asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to account for the borrowed money.
He also described as fraud the abandoned Five Star Central Hospital and the N30 billion sunk into the storm water project by Obaseki’s predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Addressing newsmen yesterday Eholor alleged that the state has not done up to 12 per cent of the roads despite the huge amount of money borrowed from the World Bank by the government.
He alleged that most of the inner city roads in Benin and other parts of the state are funded through World Bank assisted projects and NDDC and wondered what the state had done with all the funds borrowed.
But in swift reaction yesterday, the special adviser to Edo State governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie argued that the government was privileged to enjoy such facilities as a result of the state’s transparent governance and prudent financial management.
He explained that the state government prioritises sustainable development and judicious use of funds, which is what has enabled it to promptly access the low-interest credit from multilateral organisations.
According to him, “Contrary to opinion by less informed people that ranking us the second state in the country after Lagos with the highest foreign debts portfolio is a negative feat, it is actually a positive development because this simply indicates that Edo State, like Lagos and Kaduna states, are the few states in the country with the requisite level of transparency in governance to access the huge international pool of development financing to help improve infrastructure and enhance the living standards of the ordinary people.”
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