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Don’t Go That Route Again: An Admonition To Governor Oyetola (Part II)

    BY WALE BOLORUNDURO THE attempts, the objectives and the inconsistencies of “sexing up” the loan repayment figures at different times have been presented in Part I of this article. The trend from the concocted figures has been presented equally and summarised in the previous part I. The modus operandi and the nexus between…”
Yusuf
March 18, 2022 6:18 am

 

 

BY WALE BOLORUNDURO

THE attempts, the objectives and the inconsistencies of “sexing up” the loan repayment figures at different times have been presented in Part I of this article. The trend from the concocted figures has been presented equally and summarised in the previous part I. The modus operandi and the nexus between the social media spinners or the jejune writers and the media handlers in the current government of Osun have been established. At times, some low-level self-serving local civil societies cum-traders, who lack governance ideologies substitute themselves for the spinners in the loop by using their amorphous agglomerated platform to “republish” and to escalate mischievously, the falsehood. 

God saves your soul, if you use their publication(s) as your primary sources like one of my brilliant sisters did and had to face so many legal battles. Some of those civil society leaders, who gave her the falsified data to publish are now in the government of Oyetola. She obviously did not know they were working with the fifth columnist in Aregbesola’s government then. She has distanced herself from them, but many people do not know that the group has now morphed into “The Osun Mastermind” comprising of night crawlers, who cringe at night before the current Governor of Osun for crumps, patronage and positions. Previously, the N13bn was being bandied around as the debt financing on airport but immediately we exposed them on radio programs that the total leverage finance on MKO Abiola Airport was N2.6bn and that the total investment (including debt finance) was N3.5 bn, their tantrum changed. 

This is the vicious circle, created by the axis of evil, comprising of the insiders, the spinners and their civil society collaborator. Knowing fully well that Governor Oyetola will not answer them officially, no one is going to get into that rat race again. Therefore, I will advise them to call Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Council of Registered Engineers (COREN) to value the work done and to help them to value the earthworks of the airport projects (not groundwork as ignorantly stated)) of more than 12 meters height and over 3km distance. They have now picked on Opon-Imo by allocating an outrageous N8bn to the Tablet of Knowledge. This is libelous and I will encourage Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to seek redress in the court of law on this. No more volunteering of information for this “huffy-goofy” bunch of jesters to feed on. Let Governor Oyetola answer them, he was in that government of Aregbesola as the “Governor in waiting” for eight years and the project coordinator of Opon Imo, then, was one of his staff. Even the committee set up by Oyetola to reverse Aregbesola’s policies on education recommended Opon Imo for continuity. So, what is the heck?

Why can’t media be used to project the programs or projects of government? Is it because there are no much yet? or is it because it lacks intensity and magnitude to impact all facet of lives of the people of Osun as witnessed under Aregbesola? Why can’t the media be used to give hope to the hopeless and to communicate the vision of the Governor and the paradigm to get there? Why and why? Nigerians are scandal-loving people, so the modus operandi of the media handlers of Governor Oyetola is get a cheap-skate as a writer, who will not ask questions, get the falsehood uploaded unto the cyber, let it go viral and the deal is done. Some careless journalists, commentators or self-serving civil societies fishing for news items or issues will fall for it.

It will be good to roll back to the previous jaundiced figures, published by the social media spinners of Osun current government, those who go to the government offices to collect the ignominious data monies and the figures parroted previously by his Commissioner for Works on the local radios. Starting from the previous figure released by their jejune writer as loan repayments for 29 months (November 2018 to March 2021), which was purported to be N55bn, a trend has been established, which is very revealing as it seems their loan repayment figure is just racing towards a predetermined end to prove some ulterior motives. 

A comparison of the 33-month loan repayment figure, published on the social media with the 29-month figure revealed that a whopping sum of N12bn loan repayment was added in four months, i.e, at an average of N3bn monthly. This is simply a fussy mathematic to stain Ogbeni Aregbesola. Haba!! Who is piling up new loans for Oyetola that His Excellency does not seem to know, since he said he has not added a single loan? I don’t want to assume that all the contract finance transactions backed by promissory notes are not being reported to the Federal Government Debt Management Office as required by the law, as part of the national public debt. My assumption is based on the fact that government is supposed to be the most honourable. As much as I have a precognition that fresh obligation has been added, I want to assume that Oyetola has not taken any debt including the N18.22 bn budget facility recently availed to each state as favorable as it is and already taken by many states, including Lagos, the most buoyant state. 

Therefore, we will have to drill down on the hilarious and scandalous loan repayment figure, confirmed by Oyetola’s Commissioner for Finance for the 33-month period (November 2018 to July 2021). This is to lay a basis for future extrapolation, knowing that it is going to be a running gag in the months to come because of the renewed efforts to stain Aregbesola. The loan portfolio bequeathed on Oyetola’s administration by Aregbesola and the corresponding repayments on its components are as follows:

1.The loan deduction on the 1st bond (N30 bn) was N640m monthly and it had ceased since July 2019. So Governor Oyetola must have borne the burden for only nine (9) months. So, I expect total repayment on this to be about N6bn.

2.The loan deduction on the 2nd bond (N11.4bn) was about N320m monthly and it had stopped since March 2020. So Governor Oyetola couldn’t have borne it for more than 17months. So, I expect the total to be about N5bn.

  1. Monthly deduction on external loan, when I was in the office was N100m. Therefore, the total loan deduction for 33 months will be about N3.3bn. 

4.The FGN restructured bond for the state’s loan has a monthly loan deduction of N1.14bn monthly. Instead of backing out the local government portion, which is usually settled through inter-agencies transfer, I choose to give all the N1.14bn to the state government and then total deductions will be N37bn. This loan segment contains over forty (40) projects and programs, including salaries/pension shortfall financing. We will be publishing the make up soon and if push comes to shove, the contractors and promoters will be listed.

  1. Deductions on CBN backed salary bail-out facility and CBN infrastructure, totaling about N350m monthly was deferred since April 2020 and deductions made erroneously by Accountant General of Federation during forbearance period were refunded to Osun General Revenue account. Therefore, Governor Oyetola must have borne this for only 17 months, totaling N6bn.
  2. Budget Support Facility given to all the states in 2017 through the CBN to help cushion the impact of dwindling resources and help meet their various obligations. At the expiration of the two-year grace period, the deductions were suspended for one year to enable states to stabilise their finances following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Even at that, I will award N1bn to the Government of Osun as the loan repayment on this.

Therefore, the total loan repayment made by Oyetola in 33 months, from 1 to 6 items above, couldn’t have been more than N56 billion naira except there have been some additional debts, which I may not know until Governor Oyetola publishes his current debt figure and breakdown, as masterminded by his “friends”, “The Osun Masterminds”. It will be helpful to the public which the Governor serves, if the components of the inherited debt portfolio as at 27th November, 2018, can be published. Until then, let them contradict my submission here on the total loan repayment figure of N56bn for the 33 months period, ending July 31st, 2021. Any clandestine submission to jejune writers that omits reversals made as a result of loan forbearances by Federal Government and cash adjustments by the office of Accountant General of the Federation shall not be honourable and shall be further exposed. 

By comparing the above actual figure for 33 months to their publishers’ conjecture of N67bn then, there is a clear overstatement of N11bn that serves as a feast for the yellow envelope journalists and the jobless social media commentators. The N11billion difference, therefore represents a “fudge factor” in the fussy mathematics, but unfortunately, unlike the truth, which is constant, the fudge factor has been moving up and down like a yo-yo. When the repayment figure for 29 months was thrown up on the social media, parroted by the Commissioner for Works on the local radios, the Fudge Factor was about N10bn and for 33 months, which was covertly confirmed by their Commissioner for Finance, it was N11bn. The ulterior motive of throwing data up and down blindfolded them to the extent that their fudge factor could not be held constant, as sacrosanct in logic.

The recent shenanigan of the “data boys” is to throw up another figure as loan repayment fas at December 2021, i.e, 38 months in office. According to them, it has now jumped up to N72bn from N67bn of July 2021. Since we have laid a basis for comparison, it will be interesting to expose them and to check the extent to which this has been “sexed up” too. Between August 2021 and December 2021, is a five month period and by using the N1.5n as monthly loan repayment, the additional loan repayment made by Oyetola in the last five months of 2021 is N7.5bn and when this is added to the N56bn (analyzed above), it would be N63.5bn, and not N72bn as published by the compromised newsprint. The actual figure of N63.5bn has been overstated by about 15 percent, another fuzzy mathematic. The fudge factor has changed again to N8.5bn!!. Only the truth is constant. May God help us in Osun.

Part III of the article will be less of calculation but we will be dealing with the “bogey man” created by the social media rats of the current government of Osun by their various frivolous claims on the loan amount. If space permits, we will remind the Governor of some salient points, peradventure, His Excellency has forgotten. 

In conclusion, I am happy for the governor for beating his chest that he has been able to pay full salary despite the drop in February revenues from federation account. Honestly, nobody will burst his bubble on this, but he should remember the following:

  1. a) that the restoration of full salary payment was done by Aregbesola since July 2018 and the same fiscal mechanism used to restore the full salary then, under Aregbesola is still available to him and much more available now, when his revenues have gone up for the past two years,
  2. b) that he needs to fish out those people in his administration, who are giving frivolous figures, “salted” with some government figures to jejune writers and such elements should be dealt with as saboteurs of his government. The reading public now knows his government is always putting “Fudge Factor” in its loan repayment figures and it is not logical for the fudge factor to be changing all the time, from N10bn addition to N12bn, etc.
  3. c) that the Governor has honorably and publicly admitted that the domestic debt of Osun was N141billion and when the external loan is added to it, it becomes 171billion. So recent efforts by his men (including some cabinet members) to sex up the figure to N200bn is not adding up. We get to hear all these rackets; the voodoo accounting ranging from adding principal amounts to expenditures that never got to mobilization stage of the due process. Mr Governor, if it doesn’t add up, they should leave it.
  4. d) that maybe it is high time, we brought back the Omoluabi Conservation Fund, established by the law of the state in 2012 to save for the rainy days like the shortfall in revenues accruing from Federation Accounts. Without going into the details of what happened, when the fund and the law were repealed during Aregbesola’s second term in Office. I also know that some elements in your government have unjustly accused Aregbesola of profligacy, despite his efforts to direct more than 50 percent of capital receipts to capital expenditures and to create the laudable Omoluabi Conservation Fund; a saving vehicle. To err is human, to forgive is divine, this can be the beginning of the restitution and then, the reconciliation can begin to follow.

Osun a dara o.

  • Wale Bolorunduro, PhD, Former Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget writes from 6B, Lase Ogunleye Street, off Fadahunsi 

Avenue, Ilesa, State of Osun.

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