Ogun debt profile rises marginally

The Ogun State Government Wednesday revealed that its debts profile had risen marginally to N37.9 billion as at March 2014.

The government also disclosed that it had accessed only N5 billion of the N29.3 billion approved by the state House of Assembly as loans in this year’s appropriation law. The state’s bank debt figures as at December 2013 stood at N35.66 billion.

The government, however, said that it had achieved a budget performance of 61.87 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

The debt profile of the state was revealed today Wednesday, by both the state Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and her Budget and Planning counterpart, Mrs Oluwande Muoyo, during a joint press briefing by their ministries at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, to mark the third year anniversary of the administration.

“The management of our debt to comply with debt sustainability recommendations of the World Bank and other policy makers is a key objective of this administration. In the interest of consistency, I shall restate the figures presented to the House of Assembly in January of this year which was bank debt of N35.66 billion as at December 2013. This has increased marginally to N37.9 billion as at March 2014,” Adeosun stated.

She stated that the government would not “materially increase borrowings” this year, adding that “in the 2014 appropriation law, the House of Assembly approved that the government can source N29.3 billion in loans. To date, we have accessed just N5 billion of this as contractor finance obligations.”

The commissioner lamented the persistent drop in federal allocation which, according to her, had constituted a strain on the finances of the state government.

Adeosun disclosed further that the funds accruing to the state from the Federation Account reduced by 26 per cent, falling from an average of N5.01 billion in September last year to N3.83 billion as at March 2014.

“If not for the increase in the state’s internally generated revenue of N4.64 billion, which exceeded N4.11 billion federal allocation, we would have found it hard to weather the current challenging financial climate better than would have otherwise been the case,” she stated.

On the performance of this year’s budget, the budget and planning commissioner posited that this has been evidently shown in the various road projects, free education, new schools, renovated schools, health facilities, mass transit buses and taxis, markets and low interest loans to farmers.

Muoyo disclosed that the government continued to execute pro-poor projects aimed at facilitating the Millennium Development Goals by the country.

“In this connection, the local government scale-up projects for construction/renovation of primary health centres, supply of drugs, installation of solar power boreholes and hand pumps, construction/renovation of some classrooms and provision of furniture for schools have been completed in Yewa North, Ikenne and Odeda local government areas,” she revealed.

Author: News Editor

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