Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi said Tuesday that his administration did not mismanage the N25 billion bond sourced from the capital market during his first tenure.
The governor said the funds were judiciously expended on legacy projects that are still of immense benefits to the populace as well as the state.
He spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday while receiving officials of the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), who were in the state to inspect projects that were financed from the N25 billion bond.
The Ayo Fayose led-administration had last year, in a white paper, indicted Fayemi of financial mismanagement, which was said to have plunged the state into needless debts to be defrayed till 2036.
The governor said the completion of the repayment of the bond had rubbished claims by the immediate past government that the bond money was mismanaged.
Fayemi, who noted that the first tranche of N20 billion had been defrayed, said the repayment of the remaining N5 billion would be completed next year in line with the repayment plan.
He explained that the funds were expended on the construction of 11 roads across the three senatorial districts, Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ire Burnt Brick, Ekiti Liaison Office in Lagos, Adunni Olayinka Civic Centre, Ekiti Parapo Pavilion and Oke Ayoba Governor’s Lodge, among others.
“There was a lot of hullabaloo and political gimmickry about the N25 billion bond and that led to the white paper released by the last government to stop me from coming back as governor. Your coming back for the assessment is very necessary for Ekiti people to get clarifications on how we utilised the money because what we did was far more than what we took from the capital market and you could attest to this, having toured some of the projects’ sites.
“Even the last tranche of the bond was taken by the last government to build this new governor’s office. With this, there was no need to build another one.
“We commenced work on the proposed new governor’s office at the secretariat, but we only did the earthwork and upon realising that the contractor was not performing, we had to terminate it and re-awarded it to Interkel Nigeria Limited after paying 30 per cent mobilisation. We forwarded our report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) because we wanted to retrieve our money back,” Fayemi said.
Explaining that his administration originally requested for N600 million to build the Oke Ayoba Lodge, the governor said the fund was just a part funding for the project because N2.7 billion was spent on it.
Fayemi, who added that he was not unaware that amendments needed to be made to some of the projects to conform to SEC laid down rules, clarified that the errors noticed in some of the projects were “errors of omission rather than commission”.
But, the governor has pushed for the enactment of Transition Law to prevent succeeding governments from abandoning projects initiated by past administrations.
Fayemi regretted that most of the projects he initiated during his first term that were observed to have impacted positively on the lives of the populace were jettisoned by his predecessor.
He said the law will serve as a guide for any government and stipulate lines of demarcation between what constitutes infractions by way of abandonment of projects and actions that would be of tremendous benefit to the people.
The leader of the SEC team, Mr. Usman Kawu Mohammed, explained that the visit was to assess and monitor compliance with the rules of the commission.
Usman stated that bond-taking is not about an individual but institution, saying the SEC’s assessment was to ensure transparency and probity in governance and prudent utilisation of public funds.