Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has said his government inherited a debt of N220.58 billion at its inception.
Mr. Akeredolu made this known in Akure on Wednesday while swearing-in commissioners and special advisers. He advised the people of the state to refrain from acts that could further push the state into deep economic crisis.
Mr. Akeredolu said with a debt of more than N220 billion, it was not difficult for anyone to know that the government’s capacity for adjustment to cater for the people had been stretched to its limit.
According to him, Internal Debt of N53.15 billion constituted almost a quarter of the debt legacy.
Others are External Debt, N17.48billion; Unpaid Salaries and Allowances, August to December 2016, N17.27 billion; and January to February 2017, N6,91 billion; Ondo State Pension Liabilities, N4.80billion; Ondo State Gratuity, N15.04billion; Unpaid Local Government Salaries and Allowances, August to December 2016, N9.3billion; January to February 2017, N5.19 billion.
Local Government Pension Liabilities of N25.23billion; Local Government Gratuities N20,96 billion; Contractors’ Liabilities N39.74 billion; Outstanding payment requests in the Office of the Accountant-General without cash backing, N5.45billion made up the rest of the debt profile.
However, Mr. Akeredolu promised to provide the needed leadership to move the state forward and make life more abundant for the people.
"We will continue to strive to keep that vow within the available resources. We can turn things around positively,” he said.
Governor Akeredoku's claim was however denied by a former commissioner for information during the Mimiko administration, Kayode Akinmade, who said that Mr. Mimiko left N20 billion in the coffers of the state government.
Akinmade skirted the issue of debt and also did not explain why Mimiko failed to match the N38.64 billion left in the coffers of the state government by his predecessor, Governor Olusegun Agagu.
His Excellency, Rotimi also congratulated the newly appointed commissioners and special assistants, urging them to use the opportunity, given to them to make a difference in the lives of the people.