Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, has clarified that the N7.6 billion loan collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not fresh, but one which his predecessor, former governor Abiola Ajimobi took.
Makinde explained that his administration only approached the House of Assembly on Thursday to seek approval to use the loan facility for purposes other than what it was originally meant for.
He added that contrary to claims that the loan is a fresh one, his administration just secured the approval of the State House of Assembly to access the N7.6 billion loan which was previously collected by Ajimobi.
A statement by Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa said the Government had equally noticed the deliberate misconceptions and misinformation on the loan facility, saying it was an attempt to colour the truth to confuse the public.
“The misconceptions and misinformation that Governor Makinde was going for a loan of N7.6 billion is a deliberate attempt to colour the truth and it is an indication of a political move by certain commentators who are exhibiting apparent amnesia on the matter.
“Governor Makinde is not seeking for a fresh loan. The action that was taken by the House of Assembly of Oyo State on Thursday was to give the legislative nod to the State Government to access the fund that had already been domiciled with the government since the days of ex-governor Ajimobi.
“The Governor’s decision to approach the House of Assembly was a mark of his belief in due process, the rule of law and its processes. Ordinarily, some state executives would just have proceeded to spend the funds since it was already in the coffers of the state, but Governor Makinde won’t do that.
“You may wish to recall that sometimes in 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved some funds under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) for disbursement to four states including Ekiti; Osun; Oyo and Abia.
“Somehow, the immediate past administration of Governor Ajimobi chose to delay access to that money until April 2019, when the governorship election of the 2019 election had been won and lost. That government intended to expend the said money on the purchase of “Agriculture equipment” in less than two months to the end of its tenure. Allowing access to that money within a month of Ajimobi’s exit could only be counter-productive for the people of Oyo State,” the statement explained.
Adisa in the statement added that it was the spirit of activism in Governor Makinde that prodded him to smell mischieve in the plan to access that money in the twilight of Ajimobi’s administration and that informed the suit filed by then Governor-elect Makinde at the High Court of Oyo State to secure an injunction restraining the then Governor from accessing that money.
According to the statement, the two farm settlements are to be built into Farm Estates in line with the vision of the Makinde administration to ensure the full utilisation of the Agriculture value chain for economic expansion and to boost of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).