• Urges banks to stop lending Osun govt

Osun State Chapter of Social Democratic Party (SDP) has accused the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola of obtaining a fresh bank loan of over N21.3billion in just about two months to the state governorship election.

The party in a statement by its State Chairman, Mr. Ademola Isola on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 expressed surprise at the new loan granted the state government by two commercial banks, saying the issue of N350billion debt allegedly taken before now is still a subject of concern to the people of the state.

He challenged Aregbesola to deny his allegations of fresh loan while noting that the present All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government has put Osun on a debt yoke that will remain in the next 25 years.

According to him, information at the party’s disposal showed that the first tranche of the loan totalling N11.36billion was provided by Eco Bank while the second tranche of N10 billion was granted by Zenith Bank.

“In the list, Aregbesola planned to use N1billion of the loan from Eco Bank for payment of accrued pension arrears of between 2011 and 2012, N5billion for the purchase of promissory note for Sammya Limited and Hongye Construction Limited, N1billion to recapitalize OSICOL (Osun State Investment Company Limited), N1.5billion for civil servants mortgage loans and N500million for scrapping of MDS area of Osogbo.

“While the above are to be repaid over 48 months, a sum of N1.5billion will be used to bridge salary payments and N860 for counterpart funding of UBEC,” he stated.

The SDP chairman disclosed that the APC government wanted to use N6.5billion of Zenith Bank loan to refinance existing loans and N3.5billion to finance infrastructural projects with repayment spreading over a period five years or 60 months at 18 percent interest.

The party called on all banks in the country to stop lending the state any money now: “I believe that this money is only being accrued by Aregbesola for the forthcoming polls and our party won’t hesitate to probe Osun finances because we are sure of victory in the August 9 polls”.

He told the state government to come out clear and tell the citizenry about the state’s debt profile while explaining that indigenes of Osun deserve the right to know how the state money is being spent.

Isola further bemoaned Aregbesola’s men who had for over a week trying to blackmail his party’s candidate, Mr. Olusegun Akinwusi who is a former Head of Service in the state with their consistent “nothing but total falsehood” publications and SMS messages to a cross section of the populace.

“We know Akinwusi is Aregbesola’s headache but it is uncivilized to play this sort of dirty politics by lying against our candidate. For the benefit of doubt, SDP has no pact with anybody or any political party because we are sure of defeating both the PDP and APC because they know that our candidate as an honest man is the only alternative,” he added.


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