All Progressives Congress (APC) federal lawmakers of Osun state caucus in the National Assembly has berated Senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi for his comment against the state government’s borrowings.
Fadahunsi, who represents Osun East Senatorial District, had claimed that the state government had nothing to show for the external and internal loans it had taken so far, despite being the sixth most indebted state in the country.
But Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru (Osun Central), Adelere Adeyemi Oriolowo (Osun West), as well as Representatives Olufemi Fakeye, Taiwo Olukemi Oluga, Lawrence Babatunde Ayeni, Olubukola Oyewo, Afolabi Olalekan Rasheed and Amobi Yunusa, told reporters in Abuja that Fadahunsi was only seeking attention.
Basiru and Fakeye, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, said the reaction was meant to debunk Fadahunsi’s statement for allegedly asking the National Assembly and the Osun State House of Assembly to stop Oyetola’s administration from taking more loans.
Basiru said: “This address is necessitated by two comments that Fadahunsi made, which we believe are in bad faith. They are not grounded in fact and they were made to unnecessarily to scandalise what is supposed to be a matter for positive development for our state.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored his comments but it would seem as if he is speaking on behalf of Osun Caucus generally in the National Assembly.
“We are rather surprised that Senator Fadahunsi, who is representing the good people of Osun East Senatorial District in the Senate and thus an ambassador of the State of Osun in the National Assembly, could go as low as he did with his laughable attempt at sabotaging the efforts of Governor Oyetola at harnessing resources for the immediate and long-term development of our dear state.
“It is indeed a parody that Senator Fadahunsi, who supported the Federal Government’s request to borrow to fund critical projects, has suddenly decided to constitute himself as a stumbling block to this home state’s quest to access and deploy resources in the face of the dwindling revenues.
“Senator Fadahunsi’s call is totally ill-conceived and an attempt to draw attention to himself and portray the state government of Osun’s plans in bad light.”
The senator insisted that Fadahunsi needed to be “schooled in the art of when to talk and when to refrain from doing so”.
He added: “To start with, the request for loans, (if any) by Governor Oyetola is not borrowing for jamboree. The effect of COVID-19 on the global economy is enormous.
“In Nigeria, the crash in oil prices has resulted in a nosedive of government revenue projections that has adversely affected revenue allocation from the Federation Account.
“It is gratifying to note that Governor Oyetola has not sat back and allowed the current economic crisis, occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, to affect the capacity of the state government to deliver on its onerous responsibilities, including improving the general welfare of the citizenry and placing the state on a sound financial footing.
“Senator Fadahunsi’s grouse is that the state government is attending to the needs of the citizens. Then, picking on Governor Oyetola for criticism is absolutely unnecessary and totally uncalled for.
“The state government has always judiciously utilised all financial resources, including loans. Only recently, the state received $20 million from the World Bank.
“It was granted following the state’s impressive performance under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) converted the amount about two years ago to naira. At the time, the exchange rate was N305 to a dollar.
“To show transparency and accountability, the amount is domiciled with the CBN and releases are made only when they satisfy World Bank procurement process.
“The fund has always been domiciled with the CBN and specifically meant to rehabilitate and revitalise the 332 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), one per ward across the state, on the basis of the survey and audit carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Bank.
“Of the 332 PHCs earmarked for rehabilitation and revitalisation, the administration awarded 315 with 256 already fully equipped and functioning.
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