June 19, 2009

Ogun govt berates Assembly

By Dapo Akinrefon
THE Ogun State government has berated the Ogun State House of Assembly which faulted the N60 billion Bond raised recently by the state government.
Speaking to Vanguard, Special Adviser to the governor on Youth and Sports, Mr Raheem Ajayi described the move by the house under the G 15 group as “mischievous”, just as he said “they are playing politics with the people of Ogun State that elected them.”

According to him, “The house claims not to have the financial statement of Ogun State government, but as I talk to you, they have been given the statement from 2003-2007 and the draft of 2008 is now with them.”

While explaining that the Ogun State Development and Bond Law of 1980 was passed by the State House of Assembly under Chief Bisi Onabanjo, Ajayi said “that has taken care of the bond and therefore, the house does not need to enact another law because there is an existing Law 12 which takes care of that.”

Speaking further, he said what the bond os meant for, has been highlighted in he 2009 budget which is N100billion and his bond we are seeking is also part of the budget.

Does it mean they do not understand what is in the budget? Part of the revenue for the developmental project has been taken care in the Appropriation Bill for this year.”

The governor’s aide also explained that the bond intends to take care of the “Olokola Deep Sea Port, the Igbesa Guoadong which is in Ogun West, we have the Kajola Free Trade Zone in Ogun Central and the Olokola Free Trade Zone that houses Olokola Deep Sea Port.

We are also building Gateway International Airport and part of the bond will be used to build new hostels in five tertiary institutions in Ogun State and also new legacy roads.”

Accordingly, he pointed out that the state government has not done anything wrong against the law adding that “what we have done is to create multiple opportunity for Ogun State through economic development. It is not only in Ogun State that has raised bonds.”

In addition, he said “because the Ogun State government has refused to be blackmailed, that is why a section of the House of Assembly under Tunji Egbetokun under the unpopular G15 passed a retrogressive resolution of 157 that is targeted at crippling the activities of the government.

Our determination to forge ahead with an agenda for a secured future through infrastructural and economic development, as enunciated above, that determination is unwavering and unflagging.

We will refuse maximumly the criminal demand by some section of the house of Assembly of some monetary accusation before we can go ahead with the bond. We will never pay for a bond that is repayable.”

“The Nigerian Stock Exchange”, he said, “ have people of high integrity who would not do anything that will jeopardize their organisation and as such, we looked at the records of Ogun State, that is why banks like UBA have decided to underwrite N5billion out of the bond.

It means that Ogun State leadership under Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is credible and has shown that it is a dependable organisation with which to do business with. I call on the G15 members to go and read the documents given to them again.”