Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has stated he has not taken out a mortgage since taking workplace within the final three years, regardless of having inherited about N170 billion. On this interview with TIMOTHY AGBOR he revealed how he constructed infrastructure, paying salaries with out including to the state’s debt profile.
Info from the Workplace of Debt Administration (DMO) says Osun is in critical debt. What is going to you say about that?
Debt is normally one thing that occurs in a technique or one other as a result of we don’t have all of the sources to do what we wish to do. Due to this fact, debt isn’t a curse. The essential factor is to make sure that all debt carried is channeled in the direction of capital tasks that may have a optimistic affect on folks.
Sure, Osun has his personal share of money owed. I don’t wish to go into particulars. The essential factor is to maneuver ahead. We’re coping with all of the money owed which have been incurred over time and we’re ensuring that it doesn’t forestall us from doing what we now have to do as a authorities within the space of infrastructure, well being, training and safety. I believe that’s the way in which to speak about it, even America owes loads to it. However I believe we now have been in a position to handle the state’s debt portfolio, we now have repaid the inherited debt and we’re nonetheless doing a variety of what we now have to do as a authorities.
What’s the whole debt profile of the state in the intervening time?
I believe it’s within the public area and the Workplace of Debt Administration (DMO) has spawned, at one time or one other, the debt profile of most states, together with Osun. So I believe it’s within the area of about N170 billion in accordance with the newest DMO publication, however since we’ve been in authorities, we’ve been in a position to scale back the portfolio fairly, so it’s nonetheless on the stage of one thing that might be managed. .
How a lot have you ever borrowed because you took workplace about three years in the past?
I didn’t borrow a penny. However that’s to not say I can’t borrow, given the truth that it’s important to do among the main tasks that require time, that’s, time-bound, particularly given the price of the infrastructure that occurs now, you’ll have to to discover a approach to be sure you full every thing you do. However what’s essential to me is the truth that even when I’ve to borrow, I’ve to do it in a means that doesn’t have an effect on the respect of my obligations to folks together with the fee of salaries and pension. Nevertheless, as of right now, we now have not borrowed.
It’s stated that your authorities is pleasant to the employees since you pay their salaries because it ought to, however some folks have stated that you just do it for political causes, how will you react to this?
On common, we spend a minimum of N3 billion each month on salaries and pensions. So, if we even retailer cash someplace now, they are going to be exhausted. There’s nothing like methods, they’re right here to serve, so the query of taking part in politics with salaries doesn’t come up both. It isn’t a Greek reward, they deserve their pay and due to this fact give precedence to the fee of salaries and pension. I’ve to search for cash to pay salaries and pension, the rest can come out however the wage and pension must be paid, it’s not a trick.
I’m dedicated to the well-being of the employees, even after I was Chief of Employees, I used to be in command of most issues associated to the issues of the employees. I see it as an obligation that should be fulfilled; I’ve heard folks discuss the potential for a second time period, that’s not the issue. The issue is that, the well-being of employees should be a precedence and that’s precisely what we do.
So, if you happen to take workplace for the second time period, will welfare employees at all times be given precedence?
Sure, completely, it gained’t change as a result of it’s not about taking a look at it from the angle of making an attempt to fulfill it, it’s their reputable proper. Earlier than I obtained into politics, I used to be a non-public sector particular person, I employed folks and there was no time that I didn’t pay my employees. So it’s necessary that it’s important to pay your employees. It’s a part of what I’ve to do as Chief Government of the State, it’s regular and there’s nothing.
Did you point out that you just don’t borrow a penny, the place do you get cash to pay employees repeatedly?
Creativity is the phrase. You need to have a look at the place you’re and the place you wish to be and have a look at the hole and creatively plan issues to handle these gaps. I believe that’s the one means one can clarify what we’re making an attempt to do. For instance, if we discuss infrastructure, we don’t have the sources to construct infrastructure however I can’t complain. After I went on “Thank You” tour after our election, folks requested me to restore a variety of their roads however I can’t make roads with out paying salaries. You need to be inventive sufficient to conceive the thought of various funding mission method, which provides me leverage to have my infrastructure repaired even with out my sources. Individuals who have cash, entrepreneurs who can afford to do this stuff, do it and we perceive how they are going to be paid over time.
Possibly that is the magical, various fundraising method. As a substitute of borrowing, I work with individuals who have the means, expertise and funds to companion with the federal government to restore roads. For instance, the continuing development of Olaiya Flyover is funded with this method. However what’s essential is that it’s important to present a excessive stage of integrity, you don’t have to surrender on the idea of any settlement you’ve got with these companions and to date, so properly, we now have saved our agreements.
With the way in which the town is rising, it’s essential to be proactive sufficient to have a plan to make some particular provisions to keep away from congestion, to keep away from accidents, particularly on that axis. When you’ve ever used that street on the peak of the day, you’ll recognize the necessity to have a horse. There have been a number of accidents – I’ve witnessed one or two myself. So, except you’ve got it and are additionally interested by a rising metropolis and if you happen to don’t give it some thought now, there’ll at all times be a must have it.
And the street tasks inherited out of your predecessor, have they been deserted?
We nonetheless do the Ring Street, we didn’t depart it however what I did otherwise is the truth that, as a result of I didn’t have cash for 2, three, 4 lanes at a time, I felt what was essential to me was to finish one or two roads, so that folks might use them. If I wait till I’ve cash to finish the way in which it was designed, it may take one other 4, 5 or seven years. So what I did is make certain a component was accomplished proper as much as the Stadium. So folks face the street now as it’s. When I’ve sources, I’ll transfer to the opposite facet and full the twin carriageway because it was meant to be.
And the airport mission?
The airport is fascinating resulting from the truth that we open our financial system to personal investments. Once more, we now have a variety of vacationer sights, if you happen to don’t have related issues, there gained’t be the chance for folks to journey by street, by air, even when we now have all of the vacationer sights on the earth, they gained’t appeal to you the vacationers.
Once more, we not function the airport on our personal as a result of we companion with the federal authorities. They really got here to examine it, and I wish to consider that they’ll take it in collaboration with us to finish the mission.
The airport was conceived by the Oyinlola administration and was meant to be collectively funded by the Federal Authorities and the State. That point it was N4billion, the Federal Authorities put N2billion and the state put N2billion. Sadly, the federal authorities has not give you its personal N2 billion.
I visited the Minister of Aviation and he assured me that FG would choose it up and full it. So I wish to consider that, given the partnership we now have with the Federal Authorities, we can full the mission. We didn’t borrow as a result of I do know you’re afraid we would even wish to borrow to finish this mission.
How is your relationship along with your predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola?
However are many nervous concerning the political chilly warfare between you?
As I stated, there is no such thing as a rift between us, sure we will say a disagreement on some areas and it’s not unusual to disagree on sure areas, possibly possibly politics, model and issues like that. However that doesn’t imply we now have issues. Generally, I’ve no issues with Ogbeni, he’s my brother and we now have come a good distance, we now have not met in politics. I believe the entire reality is overly exaggerated.
There are a number of APC teams within the state, one in all them is The Osun Progressives (TOP). There may be additionally Ilerioluwa and there are others. What’s your place as get together chief within the state concerning TOP, which appears to antagonize your insurance policies and should not assist your second-term ambition?
I’ve no downside, to be trustworthy, I see everybody as a part of the identical political household. I don’t consider in teams or factions, if you happen to imply so, you may have caucuses, a technique or one other it’s pure. Even in a traditional membership association, you’ve got folks aligning with one another on sure issues, so I’ve no issues with them.
Talking of second time period points, my angle is to appreciate what I’m at present doing. I don’t wish to be distracted. It’s a service to the folks, if the folks consider they need it to proceed, so be it. It’s not a determined scenario.
Nevertheless, we now have not reached that stage (election). It’s God who provides energy. His appointment is non-negotiable. It’s God’s will that I be the governor right now, so the query of the second time period is left to God and the folks of Osun to resolve.
Do you suppose they provides you with a second time period?
Like I stated, the second time period is left to folks and to God. What’s essential to me, for every day of my governorship, at the least for the primary time period, is to place in my finest, the second time period might be decided by the folks and by God.
Some outstanding politicians and teams within the state have supported you for the second time period, consider your predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf
Does Aregbesola assist you for the second time period?
Properly, it’s important to ask him. I can’t be able to learn his thoughts.
Are you in the identical get together and will your assist be given to you?
That’s why I’m stunned to ask. I consider he’s my brother and I consider always, he desires my success as a result of I’ve labored very onerous in eight years for his success too.
If folks in TOP say they don’t assist me, I’m not too certain they inform the story from their coronary heart. He stops my brother. They don’t communicate their minds. Like I stated, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be prepared to assist myself if folks say they need me to.