The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the October 20 election in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke has alleged that the ruling Labour Party (LP) administration under Dr. Olusegun Mimiko owes about N110 billion debts to various contractors.
Oke, who revealed this during an interactive session with journalists in Akure, the state capital, yesterday described the high debt profile as alarming.
He said there was no need for the Mimiko government to accrue so much debt for the state as there is nothing to show for it.
He therefore promised a more purposeful and reasonable administration if elected. Oke also promised to judiciously manage the resources of the state without “going cap in hand and borrowing at the expense of the state.”
The PDP candidate alleged that the debts recorded by the present administration were accumulated from various contracts that were overbloated, especially for non- indigene contractors which led to huge loss of money from the government purse, while indigenous contractors were not patronised.
He further pointed out that the people of the state are unhappy due to the poverty and frustration that have been inflicted on them by the Mimiko administration.
He said: “Nobody should be in doubt about the magnitude of punishment the current tenant of the Government House will receive from the electorate come October 20. The words of the people are clear and the evidences of their determination are stark poverty, gloom, frustration and inertia inflicted on them in the last three and half years.
“The Mimiko administration has illegally converted over N100 billion belonging to the local governments since February 2009.
Can anyone point to any meaningful project or life changing efforts by the unelected and imposed local government authorities?”
Oke said the debt burden has hampered development at the local government level, even as he noted that Mimiko has not fulfilled any of his electoral promises.
His words: “As we speak, the local governments in the state are financially broke. Employees in 90 per cent of the councils, after agitation and threats have just been paid two months salaries owed them in arrears by the local councils on account of unavailability of fund.
“It is also alarming that the state government is finalising plans to enter into a N3 billion loan deal with a first generation bank to enable it finance the state and local government employees’ salaries for September and October. This is apart from the N50 billion loan burden heaved on the people from the capital market.
“As we speak, no single neighbourhood public water tap is working in the state whereas government embarrassingly spent well over N300 million in constructing a decorative water fountain at the very heart of the Oba Adesida highway.
“With over N600 billion revenue since 2009, it is not surprising why the people are asking the governor, in voices raised to the roof, to point out one completed or commissioned road project and any established or facilitated large scale or cottage industry since 2009.
“Did Mimiko not promise 4,000 jobs within 100 days? Did he not boast of establishing a N5 billion Ore Sunshine megacity plaza having 1,000 capacity trailer park, 200 shops, 2,000 residential units, hotels, power plant etc? Did he not promise a N3 billion tomato paste factory at Arigidi Akoko, a N13 billion motor assembly plant at Bolorunduro, Ondo East; an N8 billion cement factory at Okeluse; a N1.8 billion international conference centre among several others? Were billions of naira not released for all these? The people are asking Mimiko to point at any of these projects.”
On his plans for the state if elected, Oke promised to revive ailing industries which include the Oluwa Glass Factory, Alpha 3D Building Material Company at Ikare Akoko, Okitipupa Oil Palm Mill among other companies in the state.
He also assured that his administration will ensure that the OKLNG project becomes a reality by involving relevant stakeholders.
He said: “I will tackle the issue of unemployment in two phases, one, all the existing vacancies in the civil service and the 15,000 vacancies in the Teaching Service Commission will be filled systematically, while the second measure will be for all government agencies to establish an investment forum where graduates can take loans and participate in government projects effectively like construction of bridges, construction and renovation of schools across the state that does not need much expertise.”