Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo Srate on Saturday reacted to the controversial Seven Billion, Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N7.6b) Central Bank of Nigeria loan which he requested the State House of Assembly to approve.
We recall that Makinde had on Thursday in a letter addressed to the State House of Assembly, urged the Assembly to grant him the approval to borrow the loan aimed at boosting farm settlements in Akufo in Ido Local Government Area and Eruwa in Ibarapa East Local Government Area of the State.
Several criticisms have trailed the approval which many described as hasty by the House of Assembly.
The State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Friday, berated Makinde and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, over what it called “hasty” approval of the loan.
But, Makinde said that his government noticed deliberate misconceptions and misinformation on the loan facility, saying it was an attempt to colour the truth to confuse the unsuspecting public.
Makinde who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that certain misinformation, misconception and outright mischief in the interpretations are being given to the loan.
Adisa said, “The misconceptions and misinformation that Governor Makinde was going for a loan of N7.6 billion is a deliberate attempt to colour the truth and it is an indication of a political move by certain commentators who are exhibiting apparent amnesia on the matter.
“Governor Makinde is not seeking for a fresh loan. The action that was taken by the House of Assembly of Oyo State on Thursday was to give the legislative nod to the State Government to access the fund that had already been domiciled with the government since the days of ex-governor Ajimobi.
“The Governor’s decision to approach the House of Assembly was a mark of his belief in due process, the rule of law and its processes. Ordinarily, some state executives would just have proceeded to spend the funds since it was already in the coffers of the state, but Governor Makinde won’t do that.
“You may wish to recall that sometimes in 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved some funds under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) for disbursement to four states including Ekiti; Osun; Oyo and Abia.
“Somehow, the immediate past administration of Governor Ajimobi chose to delay access to that money until April 2019, when the governorship election of 2019 election had been won and lost. That government intended to expend the said money on the purchase of “Agriculture equipment” in less than two months to the end of its tenure. Allowing access to that money within a month of Ajimobi’s exit could only be counter-productive for the people of Oyo State.
“It was the spirit of activism in Engineer Seyi Makinde that prodded him to smell a rat in the plan to access that money in the twilight of Ajimobi’s administration and that informed the suit filed by then Governor-elect Makinde at the High Court of Oyo State to secure an injunction restraining the then Governor from accessing that money. The suit, dated May 7, 2019, is referenced M/284/2019.
“It is a well-known fact that the immediate past administration in Oyo State had spent millions of Naira on the purchase of agriculture equipment including excavators and tractors, whose locations cannot be ascertained just a year after the purchase.
“Besides, no one could estimate the value (if any) of the expended huge public funds. In effect, the decision by Engineer Makinde to stall the access of Ajimobi’s government to the N7.6 billion was not only well-considered but completely in the interest of the people of Oyo state.
“As the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Makinde had taken his time to x-ray the best way the loan can be applied in view of the four-point Service Agenda of his administration. He has, therefore, come to the inspired decision to devote the said loan to the reconstruction and standardization of the Farm Settlements in Eruwa and Akufo areas of Ibadan.
“It is expected that when the two Farm Estates fully come on stream, the output therefrom would easily offset the loan secured while also providing the seed money for the reconstruction of the remaining seven Farm Settlements.
“The administration of Engineer Seyi Makinde has emphasised a Four-Point Service Agenda, which encompasses Education, Health, Security and Economic development using Agriculture value chain, its focus on this agenda for a quick turnaround of Oyo state’s human development index remains unshaken.”