Monday, August 17, 2015 11:02 pm
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state Monday said the State was forced to take a World Bank Development loan because the Federal Government led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for 16 years looted the nation’s treasury and pauperized the states.
The governor who said this while speaking with journalists, in apparent response to the state chapter of the PDP who queried the essence of the loan, said there would not have been need for taking the loan in the first place if the PDP-led government had not stolen the country’s resources.
“If the PDP did not steal the money, we would not need to borrow. What we lost from the NLNG under the PDP Federal Government was about $11.6 billion. Edo State’s share of that money was more than N30 billion. If you realise that from every one billion dollars, we get more than N2.7 billion. So if PDP did not steal and bleed the economy dry, our legitimate revenue stolen by the past PDP government and its men is more than that.
“PDP is simply not in a position to blame the victims of their own looting which is unprecedented in the history of the country. My hope is that they would be brought to justice,” Oshiomhole said.
He however said it was a good thing that President Muhammadu Buhari came at the right time to stop the liquidation of the country.
“You heard President Buhari saying last week that after they finished looting the treasury, they even borrowed to loot. You heard the President say that they took a loan from China and they already had taken $600 million from the loan. By now if they were still there, there would have finished the rest.
“In the South-South zone, look at the debt profile, Edo is the least borrowed. The only major loan we have taken since I assumed office was a N25 billion bond out of which we have paid over N20 billion because we are paying N530 million every month.
“As we speak, we have only about N5 billion left of that loan which will be liquidated before the end of this tenure. You heard of bail out. Find out what PDP states are borrowing under the bail out plan, not for development but to pay salaries. But Edo State Government is up-to-date with salaries without bail out. You need to interrogate facts and not report these people as if they are responsible people because when you do that, people don’t know the difference between mischief makers and responsible people,” he said, adding that the PDP should “simply shut up because they destroyed everything.”
“You read in the papers how much our neighboring states are borrowing? You heard of N20billion, N30 billion under two months. To do what, To settle the invisibles. You hear them talking about N14.5 billion. We are not borrowing to pay salaries, we are able to do that in spite of the massive looting by the PDP. I appeal to the media because you are victims and you must interrogate these thieves when they break the highway rules and want to divert you. When you ask questions, they say you want to witch hunt. Why won’t you witch hunt when the witches are killing people in the village.
“For me, the only regret I have is that somehow, these rogues can seemingly eat their cake and yours and go out to complain that the cake is missing when it is in their stomach. I also need you to consult the Word Bank to look at the statement they issued that Edo is the second State, Lagos being the first; that these two states have shown sufficient reforms, transparency, accountability in Internally Generated Revenue and reforming the public policy to ensure value for money.
“They are providing these facilities as a measure for encouraging other states to take a cue from what Lagos and Edo are doing. If this is the basis of support and you are listening to a bunch of armed robbers of what they think about decent society, they would rather borrow at 20% and they are envious that we are attracting a facility more or less at zero cost of 1% spread out over 20 years. If you read the report of the Senate, it says about 17 states and these are PDP states have applied for this facility but because of their public image, the World Bank is not willing to loan to them.
“I read in one of the papers, that about $2.2 million donated by an NGO to support the election was stolen and they were compelled to return it but the former Minister of Finance said it was witch hunting because they have refunded the money but it was misapplied.
“You hear PDP say nothing has happened in Edo State. Even the Hospital we are building, the Benin City Water Storm project, just one project is more than the entire loan we have taken. So as we speak, Edo is the least borrowed. Every state now is borrowing money for salaries. You are not just to parrot the views of armed robbers. When you report, you say however, it will be recalled that, that way, the reader understands who is saying the truth,” Oshiomhole said.
It would be recalled that the World Bank approved a $225 million loan for Edo State Government in 2012, to be implemented in three tranches of $75 million per annum. The first tranche of the loan was approved by the National Assembly in the 2012-2014 Federal Government External Rolling Borrowing Plan while the second tranche was approved by the National Assembly, last week.