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Anti-Corruption Group Laments Lagos Debt Profile

Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola

Kayode Adelowokan, Lagos

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has lamented the growing trend of reckless lending by the Lagos State Government under the disguise of building a mega city.

Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola

Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola

The Lagos Commissioner of Finance, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi, opened up that the state is currently indebted to the tune of N435 billion as at the end of 2013. He made this known during the presentation of the 2014 budget analysis by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.

The Chairman of the Coalition, Comrade Debo Adeniran, in a press statement on Thursday, January 30, 2014, berated the present trend of borrowing that has no practical reflection on the larger economy of the state.

Adeniran said, “For a very long time, the Lagos State government has kept mum over its debt profile, because there was no way people will not react to the over bloated figure at any given time.

“Now it has finally been reported that the state is indebted to the tune of whopping sum of N435 billion without having much to show for it. This disclosure is a big blow on the face of Lagosians, as no one could have thought that a state like Lagos would subscribe to the option of borrowing despite huge revenues accruing to the state.

“Just in five years, the government has incurred a debt of 435 billion without any acknowledged giant project, then Governor Fashola needs to surrender himself for public questioning and scrutiny, as there are one thousand and one questions on “how” and “where” such a huge amount was expended on the landscape of Lagos.

“It is a known fact that most of the major road constructions that are credited to this administration are tolled; so we deserve to be given a thorough explanation on the debt profile. It is never enough to pronounce such a high figure of public money without corresponding analytical explanation of the use of such fund.

“Lagosians are indeed stunned by this ridiculous debt, because Lagos is still yet to witness any major people-oriented transformation that would justifiably claim such figure; for this reason N435 billion becomes a shocking monetary value, as we still awaits a mega city dream of the administration.”

It is also worthy to know that there is revenue accruing to the state through the Security Trust Fund. Corporate entities have contributed billions of naira to this fund since inception; the state also generates its IGR and collects allocations from the Federation Account. With this huge revenue base, there is no need for Fashola’s administration to go a borrowing,” Adeniran opined.

The anti-corruption crusader however called on the Lagos State House of Assembly to probe the state’s spending and make public their report.

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