Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP led Federal Government of incompetence to manage the myriads challenges confronting the country, hence, the administration should be voted out of office on March 28th.
The duo spoke as the speakers at the 7th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium, titled; “Change; How it will work.”
However, yesterday’s colloquium was organised to mark the 63rd birthday of All Progressives Congress, APC National leader and former Governor of Lagos State. Bola Ahmed Tinubu
The event which had an assemblage of prominent politicians had in attendance the following: National Chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun, former interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor of Ekiti and Osun States. Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Segun Oni, respectively. Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs Olufunsho Amosun and mother of the Vice Presidential candidate, Mrs Bisi Osinbajo. Prof Pat Utomi, Chief Lanre Rasaq and other APC party leaders.
Starving of funds by Jonathan’s administration
Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun celebrating his re-election in Osogbo on Sunday
Aregbesola explained that the delay in payment of five months salary arrears of civil servants in the state was due to “The economic strategy adopted by President Goodluck Jonathan to shrink the state monthly revenue of the state.”
Aregbesola lamented that the economic policy of the Federal Government has forced the state to owe a loan of N12 billion from banks.
According to him, “The reason for indicting the President was that when I assumed office in 2010, I met a state with an income of N2.1 billion and with a wage bill of N1.1 billion.
“And outside Lagos, Osun State is the next state with large number of civil servants under the state employ. By 2012 January, my wage bill jumped to N3.6 billion and at this time, the revenue of the state had increased to N4.6 billion.
“And don’t forget that the state inherited 50 percent of the entire civil servants in the old Western states. But by July of 2013, the Apex government announced an unusual decline in allocation to state which was about 40 percent. So from N4.6 billion with which I could met the wage need of the workers, the revenue of the state from the central government reduced to N2.6 billion.
“And since then, the highest monthly allocation received by the government was in November 2013 and it was N3 billion. And since then, Osun State had to augment salaries.
Sometimes, N600 million, N1 billion and N1.6 billion. Until November 2013 which was the last time I paid salary, I had to either use my reserve which I had exhausted since 2013 or borrow money to pay salaries. I have a loan of about N12 billion to refund.
And I couldn’t go to banks anymore because the Minister for Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has directed banks not to lend state government money.
“So I was forced to meet with the workers and there was agreement between us and the workers; that I pay as the fund is made available. So I pay with what I get internally and from what I get from Abuja.
“And don’t forget that the January allocation came in March and the state was only able to receive N1.3 billion. We have gone for the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC meeting to collect the February allocation but we were told it is not ready. This is the reason why the state government can not to pay the wages of the workers,” he added.
On oil theft
The governor noted that the quantity of barrels of oil stolen daily “is equivalent to what 1,000 tankers will carry daily. But the functional tankers in the state are not up to 1,000.
“And when I did the calculation of the money loss to oil theft of N155 billion monthly, it summed up to N3.52 trillion and divided by 36 states, Osun will build 2,000 kilometer of single lane road at N50 million per kilometre, 3,000 health centres, 1,000 standard schools that will accommodate over 1, 000 pupils.”
According to Fashola, President Jonathan lied over the achievement recorded by his administration since 2011, when he was sworn-in as the first citizen of the country.
He said “As I was reading the Newspaper this morning, I saw an advert published by President Goodluck Jonathan where he listed as part of his achievement the ongoing construction of the Adiyan Phase 11 water works. And the N40 billion loan for education which the central government under wrote for Lagos State through the EKO project.
“The president claimed that they have fixed the Airport road and built Primary Health care Centre’s in Lagos State, those who use the PHC know the people you see there. There are many other things that were also said in the advertorial.
“That advert is a lie. Lagos State government under my administration is the one building the waterworks. If the president wants to lie in order to win election, it is a very low point for the presidential election.
“Many may not know about the project because it is yet to be completed. That project is been built and funded by the tax payers’ money. And if the Presidential campaign is based on lies, it shows how deeply corruption has entered and rooted in the leadership of this country today.
You cannot lie about the project that is not yours in order to deceive people for vote. That is a very low presidential watermark. “
Fashola however warned the electorate to vote leaders based on what they could deliver rather than sentiments.
The governor urged citizens not to vote along religious and ethnic lines, stressing that democratic dividends had no religious or ethnic colouration, adding that development could never be guaranteed through sentiments.