Eight out of the 12 federal lawmakers from Osun State , have taken up Senator Francis Adenigba Fadaunsi ( PDP Osun East) over alleged claim of insolvency of the State arising from huge debts profile .
Senator Fadaunsi had in the just ended week , kicked against any move by the State to collect additional loan , saying with a total debt profile of over N170 billion, Osun State currently ranks as the sixth most indebted state in Nigeria.
He maintained that the State was not economically viable and too steep in debts to go shopping for more loans.
He said doing so will mean mortgaging the future of the poor people of Osun State and condemning them to a life of perpetual servitude.
But in their reaction to Fadaunsi’s claim, the APC caucus from Osun State in the National Assembly , described the Osun East Senator as an alarmist , making unfounded allegation against the State government .
The Caucus at a media briefing in Abuja Saturday, said it wouldn’t have reacted to Fadaunsi’s partisan ranting s but since three other federal lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic in the House of Representatives , are not on the same page with him, there is the need to single him out as an enemy of progress.
The Caucus led by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru ( APC Osun Central) and Hon Femi Fakeye said the question of loan Fadaunsi is kicking against does not even arise as the State government has not made any move in that direction .
They said the $20m grant given to the State by the World Bank , has been judiciously used to put into proper shape , all the 332 Primary Health Care Centres across the various wards in the State , including where Fadaunsi hails from .
” Fadaunsi is just playing politics at detriment of the people of the State of Osun with utterances that are not grounded in facts ” , Senator Basiru alleges , while Hon Fakeye described him as somebody pointing at his father’s house with his left finger.
According to him, “Senator Fadaunsi by his unfounded allegations against the government of the State of Osun as far as utilization of the $20m world Bank grant and none existing loans are concerned , shows that he is one of those who put their mouths into gear before putting brain into action”.
Their statement reads in part : ” The attention of the Osun APC Caucus In the National Assembly has been drawn to a statement credited to Senator Francis Fadahunsi calling on the National Assembly and the Osun State House of Assembly to stop the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola from borrowing.
“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 Iong-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 iII-conceived and an attempt to draw attention to himseif and portray the State Government of Osun¡¯s plans in bad light.
“The Distinguished Senator needs to be schooled in the art of when to talk and when to refrain from doing so. To start with, the request for loans (if any) by Governor Gboyega 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 Gboyega Oyetola has not sat back and allow 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 Gboyega Oyetola for criticism is absolutely unnecessary and totally uncalled for.
“The state goverment has always judiciously utilized all financial resources, including loans. Recently, the state received twenty million dollars ($20m) grant from the World Bank.
” It was granted followlng the State’s Impressive performance under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result. The Central Bank (CBN) converted the amount about two years ago to Nelra. At the time. the exchange rate was N305 to a dollar.
” To show transparency and accountability, the said 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. In Fadahunsi¡¯s ljesa area alone, the State Government have inaugurated 47 PHCs. Specifically, in Obokun Local Government Area. where Distinguished Senator Fadaunsi comes from, five of the PHCs are up and running.
“Apart from fixing the PHCs to enviable standards, the State government is also fixing the major general hospitals in Osun. For instance, it is constructing a 120-bed ward and 30 units of Doctors’ quarters at Asubiaro Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, just as it has rehabilitated and revitalised the Ejigbo General Hospital, which today is equipped with modern equipment.
” Additionally, the government has also rehabilitated and revitalised the General Hospital at Ifetedo. Apart from spending on infrastructure. we also cater for the welfare of our medical personnel.
” It must be noted that Senator Fadahunsi is a member of the Senate and any request for loans from Governor Gboyega Oyetola will be open for legislative scrutiny and approval.
“One would have expected the Senator to raise whatever observations at the Senate by convincing his colleagues on why the loans are unnecessary instead of singing discordant tunes in the media”.
But Fadaunsi in a swift reaction through telephone conversation,
said as a lawmaker, he cannot sit idly without doing anything to stop it.
According to him, the APC lawmakers know the truth about the insolvent status of Osun State but were being economical with it.
He said despite being outnumbered; he’ll continue to raise the alarm over any such plans to further plunge the state into more debts.
Regarding the $20 million World Bank grant, Fadahunsi said the APC caucus lied when it said the State Government had used the money to establish Primary Health Centres in all the wards in state.
He challenged the APC Caucus to come forward with details of the contracts awarded for the Primary Health Centres, the equipment and drugs bought as well as those engaged to work at the Primary Health Centres..
He said merely painting and repairing the roof of existing PHC cannot not be what the State Government spent a whopping N7billion on asking it to explain how the money was utilized. Other members of the APC caucus at the briefing were Senator Adelere Oriolowo ( Osun West), Hon. Taiwo Olukemi Oluga, Hon. Lawrence Babatunde Ayeni , Hon Olubukola Oyewo, Hon. Afolabi Olalekan Rasheed and Hon AmobI Yinusa