By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
An Oyo State-based socio-political organisation, Oyo Kajola Group (OKG) has described the approval of N22.5billion loan by the State House of Assembly as a thoughtful and people-centered decision.
The group said that the approval of the loan application for the government of Oyo State to uplift infrastructure and refurbish the health sector across the state was equally timely.
The OKG in a statement by its Media Coordinator, Adebayo Ayandele, commended Governor Seyi Makinde for the courage to do the right thing by seeking funding alternatives for the state’s infrastructure drive following dwindling resources occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group also lashed out at the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) for criticizing Makinde’s loan application, noting that “a party whose government met N4 billion debt in 2011 but left N100billion domestic debt and another N50 billion external debt in eight years, with nothing tangible to show, has no moral right to oppose Makinde.”
The group, in the statement, threw its weight behind Makinde’s decision to seek loans to drive the ongoing revolution in social and health infrastructure kickstarted by his administration in the last one year, noting that it was confident that Oyo State people would be the best for the decision.
The group, which noted that with the way Makinde has prudently run Oyo State in one year, paying salaries as and when due, paying N3.250 billion in pension and gratuity while also matching all counterpart funds in the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and RAAMP, among others, it was certain that he would use the loan facility judiciously.
According to the statement, the criticisms of the government’s step by the APC and some attention-seeking individuals, were misguided and unpatriotic, especially going by the reality brought upon states of the federation and even the Federal Government by the crash in the price of crude and the glut in the market.
The group commended opposition members in the House of Assembly for not opposing a beautiful idea that will serve the interest of the state, noting that with the solid plans already in place by Makinde, the state would experience massive turnaround in the next few months.
“We in the Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), having fully considered the import and implications of the recent decision by the Oyo State government to seek N20 billion loan facility to meet up with the demands for infrastructure reform and another N2.5 billion for the refurbishment of health infrastructure, hereby support the decision.
“The step by Governor Makinde to access internal loan facilities from First Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to be able to deliver improved infrastructure to the people of Oyo State is a courageous step and it should be supported by well-meaning individuals in the state.
“At a moment like this, when resources available to states have dwindled and several states of the federation are already mulling a reduction in the wages of workers, it is not only bold but also thoughtful for Governor Makinde, who has not reneged on his promise to pay workers’ salaries on or before 25th of every month, to seek alternative funding in order to be able to deliver good infrastructure to the state.
“Sadly, the Oyo State APC and several critics of the governor’s decision, rather than attune themselves to the reality on the ground and seek what will best serve the state, are playing the empty barrel card. Opposition politics should be about ideas, but the incoherent and cacophonous mumbo-jumbo from the APC and their apologists in the state leave a bad taste in the mouth.
“In one year, Governor Makinde has demonstrated dexterity in running the affairs of the state. He has progressively placed the state on the path to prosperity with practical, realistic and moderate achievements along the four service point agenda.
“In the next few days when the government will roll out its achievements in the last one year, we are sure that they will convince naysayers that Makinde has, indeed, delivered on his promises and knowing the governor, we are sure the government will not deceive the Oyo State public with fake promises for the future the way the immediate past government deceived the people and wasted billions on a 250-room hotel, which was never started.”