Ekiti State Government has described the N25billion bond it obtained from the capital market in 2012 to fund some of its developmental projects as the best available option in view of the prevailing economic realities and the passion of the Fayemi led administration to rapidly develop the state.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Dapo Kolawole who made this known in Ado-Ekiti said the state government settled for the bond after considering all available options including embarking on an aggressive tax drive to improve its revenue base.
Kolawole explained that the state government eventually settled for the bond because it was the most transparent option and has a 14.5% interest rate as against the normal bank lending rate of between 20 and 22% adding that it also has longer repayment tenure of 7 years.
He said less than two years after taking the bond; the Fayemi administration had judiciously used its proceeds to transform the landscape of the state through the provision of world class infrastructure and has also repaid over N11billion.
The Finance Commissioner recalled that Ekiti State was virtually in a state of comatose before the advent of the present administration, adding that while the agricultural sector that had been the mainstay of the economy of the state had become almost non-existent, the education sector that was the pride of the state was in shambles.
Kolawole added that roads in the state were barely passable while the public service manned by workers with very low morale had become grossly inefficient.
He explained that the concept of obtaining the bond was therefore midwifed to stimulate the economy and achieve the goal of rapidly developing the state.
The Commissioner listed the projects embarked upon with the proceeds of the bond to include 11 intra townships and inter township roads totaling over 170 kilometers out of which 9 have been completed.
Other projects being funded by the bond include the construction of a 10,000-seater pavilion which is nearing completion in Ado-Ekiti, construction of the ultra-modern 4-storey Liaison office complex in Ikeja, Lagos state which also nearing completion as well as an ultra-modern Civic Centre with modern facilities including a 1500seater- amphitheater, three 150seater cinema halls, 3 elevators, one museum hall and 4 floors of office accommodation.
Others include the redevelopment of the Ikogosi Warm Springs Tourist Centre into the number one tourist destination in Nigeria, the resuscitation of the long abandoned Ire burnt bricks factory, construction of an ultra-modern Government House complex, blocks of lecture rooms, multipurpose hall and students accommodation at the newly approved College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture and the completion of the ultra-modern Oba Adejugbe Hospital in Ado-Ekiti.
Justifying the new Government House project at Oke Ayoba in Ado Ekiti, the Finance Commissioner said that the eventual relocation of the Governor to the new official residence would allow the take-off of the proposed Central Business District (CBD) stretching from the new area that has been opened up around the new pavilion to the present Governor’s office.
Stressing that the value of the land in the CBD area has appreciated to over N20billion, Mr. Kolawole described the N2billion spent on the new Government house as money well spent adding that Governor Fayemi should be commended for his foresight and economic wisdom.
He added that it is noteworthy that international donor agencies such as the DFID, UNDP, the World Bank among others and other non-governmental organizations that had left the state have returned because of the apparent serious attitude to development by the Fayemi led administration.
The Commissioner however posited that the state might perhaps not have taken the bond option if the Federal Government had paid the outstanding N14billion it owed the state on the rehabilitation of some Federal roads in the state.
He condemned what he called the lackadaisical attitude of the FG to the development of Ekiti State, noting that the state is laden with over 50 abandoned projects initiated by the Federal Government.
Kolawole solicited support for the well-thought-out projects of the Fayemi led government in order to achieve the goals of rapidly developing the state and delivering the dividends of democracy to the people in state.
Ekiti State Government Press Release
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