Why I borrowed to develop Ondo – Akeredolu
The governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Tuesday advanced the need for massive infrastructural development of the state as the main reason why his administration borrowed money in the last three and the half years.
Akeredolu who is angling for a second term bid under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) stated this while briefing newsmen after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms at the party national Secretariat in Abuja. The forms were purchased for him by state lawmakers and all political appointees in the state
The governor who dismissed critics of his administration’s debt profile said he met a huge debt in 2016 and had to offset and embarked on infrastructural development, hence the borrowing. He argued that there was no harm in borrowing stressing that no state or Nation can exist without borrowing.
“I can assure you there is probably no State that can exist without borrowing. Not even a nation, not even America. We have tried to spend within our limit because of the debt we met. We met a lot of debts, we have to pay back. After we have paid the debt met before we initiated a move to have a bond of N30 billion.
“At the end of the day, the Debt Management Office ( DMO) said with our debt profile we are not entitled to more than N15 billion, so we have gotten N15 billion but all of that have gone on infrastructure development”.
Shedding more light on the dispensation of the bond, Akeredolu said, “we have done a lot of work before the loan came. So the loan had to be used pay a number of our contractors because we have adopted a way of doing our business which is different from any other person. We made it a policy, any contractor that wants to work for us, start the work. You must attain up to 30 per cent with your own money before we start paying you and that allows for quality jobs”.
He cited the massive development of Akure, the state capital, the Redemption bridge at Ore and many other infrastructural development projects across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Akeredolu who was accompanied by the Minister of State, Niger Delta, Senator Donald Alasoadura, the Speaker, deputy speaker and 21 members of the State House of Assembly, members of the state executive council, party chieftains from all the council’s, youth and women group assured the people of the state of his determination to build on the solid foundation he had laid.
He thanked the members of the National Working Committee of the APC, the State Executive Committee of the party, party leaders from all the 18 local government areas of the State, Speaker and members of the State House of Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, other elected and appointed political office holders, for the support given him.
Akeredolu said his aspiration for a second term in office is by popular demand of his teeming supporters. He pointed out that the support he is enjoying was a product of the strong faith his people have in his capability to lead the State once again.
“It is a great privilege to be called upon to serve. Public service poses its own challenges but the knowledge of an omnibus acceptance emboldens the public servant to proceed without fear.
Expressing optimism for the revalidation of the mandate given him in 2016, he said “we must, however, not fail to, without any fear of contradiction, that we have kept faith with our people. We have been relentless in the pursuit of the set objectives in all the sectors bear indelible imprints on the socio – economic landscape in the State.
“We have taken our message of redemption to all the nooks and crannies of the State. Every part of our land is treated as our cherished heritage I must be preserved. Our people are treated with respect. Our administration has rekindled hope in the possibility of altruistic service.
“We have promoted amity among the workers. Prior attention is extended to matters concerning their welfare. We shall continue to encourage diligence, honesty and ingenuity. No public servant needs to be afraid of persecution under our watch.
“We have participated in politics bearing in mind the overriding interest of the people. We have never, at any moment, allowed parochial considerations becloud our vision for optimum service delivery. We have invested massively in infrastructure to bridge the embarrassing deficit.