19th September, 2013
By Sina Pius
The recently released Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) report for 2011, which claimed that Ekiti State is among the most heavily indebted states is inaccurate, incorrect and political. For a Federal Government Agency to be bandying a 2011 report close to the end of 2013 (a period of two years) shows the level of statistical laziness and financial culpability of the agency, especially in this digital age where information on anything is just a click away.
I think the FRC should be more concerned about educating the public on what the Federal Government owes rather than trying to use old statistics that has no direct bearing with current situations in the various states. What is even more worrisome is the fact that many of the states (at least as claimed by their respective commissioners of finance and other relevant agencies) have yet to receive the said report before it was published in the media. This has made many to believe that the release of the 2011 report has some ulterior motive.
As a concerned Ekiti citizen, I see FRC report as a jigsaw puzzle calculated to embarrass the state and smear the image of the Fayemi Administration. Virtually all states indicted in the report — Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Kwara, Ebonyi, have faulted the huge debt profile including.
One curious twist to the report is the jocose excitement exhibited by governorship aspirants of the two factions of PDP Ekiti State, while celebrating the report. I think the way forward is for all and sundry to seek for the current debt profile of the state and consider it in line with the ongoing physical, industrial and human capital development which is the hallmark of the Kayode Fayemi administration, before coming to a conclusion whether the tax payers money have been put to effective use or not. Or whether the N20 billion bond money sourced from the capital market in 2011 has brought about a better life for the people of the state.
The FRC, on its part, should also endeavour to come out with the correct statistical data of debt profile of all the 36 states of the federation and that of the federal government, whom we reliably gathered has just sourced a one billion Euro bond. This, to me is the just and proper way to go about it.
•Pius wrote from Ado-Ekiti