THE contrived toings and froings about the refund on expenditure expended by the State Government of Osun on federal roads is demeaning and falls well below the standard of intellectual honesty and moral circumspection required in public service. Within the context of it having happened between members of the same political party, it is disgraceful.
The State Government has now belatedly admitted that refunds ranging between N11.9 billion and N13 billion have been received from the Federal Government. There is nothing out of the ordinary in this, for other states have received refunds and have publicly admitted receipt. Noteworthy that the PDP controlled government of Rivers State made a huge song and dance over the receipt of its refunds from the APC Federal Government which actually discomfited some hard-line ideologues of the PDP who felt that unnecessary kudos was been giving to the APC.
The motive behind the refusal to publicly accept the payment of the refunds to the state government is reprehensible. For it comprehensively shatters the misleading narrative that the previous administration led so astutely by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had placed the state of Osun in a seemingly intractable debt crisis.
This of course is ludicrous and a lie from the pit of hell. Aregbesola’s path breaking intervention also left assets that has so far yielded N11.9 billion on roads. It has for long been established by international organisations such as Goldman Sachs and the World Bank that the positive multiplier effect on infrastructure investments is approximately 10 times.
The State Government’s clever-by-half antics of making the gentleman who blew the lid the scapegoat cuts no ice. It reflects deep desperation and cluelessness in the fine art of politics and governance. His figures no doubt may be contested, but he has been justified in forcing the government to eventually do what it ought to have done initially.
Kudos must be giving to anyone who, sacrificing immediate electoral convenience, invested in infrastructure. Students of economic history are aware that the government of the Western Region headed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo had a lot of problems by making a lot of sacrifice in the immediate and deferring gratification for long term benefits.
But the refunds on road construction are not the only assets bequeathed by the Aregbesola Administration that have been rolling in quietly and steadily. A $20 million for the renovation of hospitals was awarded to the state government as the prize for the Aregbesola administration’s performance on healthcare. It had been perfected and just dropped shortly after he left office.
As we put the totally unnecessary diversions behind us, going forward, it is imperative that the state government make full disclosure on all such accruals derived from the immediate past government headed by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.