By Simon Ebegbulem & Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, traded words over perceived high debt profile of the state.
While the governor described as laughable, the allegation that the state was heavily indebted, saying: “It is sad when financial illiterates pick figures wrongly just to portray the state as heavily indebted”, the PDP said it was surprised that the government was uncomfortable with its claims.
Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki
Obaseki, who contended that the state was one of the few states privileged as Lagos State in sub-Sahara Africa, to access World Bank loans at less than 1 per cent in 20 years and in some cases 10 years moratorium, insisted that the state had the best debt profile structure in Nigeria.
In a statement by his Interim Chief Press Secretary, CPS, John Mayaki, Obaseki explained that “You cannot say we are so indebted and yet, we are able to pay salaries, our contractors and we are able to run our services. You also need to look at who is saying what, and what the motivation is.”
On its part, the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, recalled that the party drew the attention of governor Obaseki to alleged concern of Edo citizens over the deliberate decision of not disclosing the actual debt profile.
He quoted the state Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, as saying: “It is true that Adams Oshiomhole accessed $150 million controversial world bank loan at 1% interest over a 20 year period.”