A story which circulated on Sunday alleging that the Debt Management Office (DMO) has put the debt profile of Ekiti state since Gov. Ayodele Fayose took office in October 2014 at N56 billion is not holding up to scrutiny.
The statement, which was reported by some newspapers (TheScoop did not report it), claimed that a DMO bulletin released over the weekend showed that Fayose had borrowed N56 billion, while a fresh application of N25 billion in 2017 is awaiting consideration.
Why this matters:
If the story were true, it would prove Fayose to be a hypocrite who criticises Pres. Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor as Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi, for the loans they collected, while doing same.
But the story seems contrived, and TheScoop cannot find any evidence of its factuality.
- First, the DMO did not release any bulletin about the Ekiti debt profile or that of any state government last weekend. Although the falsified statement claimed that the “bulletin” is on the DMO website, nothing of that sort exists on the site.
- The DMO does not even release “bulletins” – it has press releases, but nothing has been published on this matter.
- If the DMO was indeed giving details of a state’s debt profile, it is unlikely to start from when a new government comes to power, as it is expected that the state’s debt will be seen as a continuum no matter who is governor at any given time.
- The false report also claimed that an earlier DMO bulletin had put the debt left by the Fayemi administration at N18 billion. This is also not true. The DMO never released any such bulletin in the past making such a claim. In fact, former Gov. Fayemi himself has said that the debt left by his government was about N36 billion (double what the report claimed) .
Ekiti government reacts:
In a rebuttal, the Fayose administration described the story as falsehood and accused Ex-Gov. Fayemi’s media office of being behind the spin in order to change the narrative from the “debt he plunged the state into.”
“The only fresh loan taken by the government of Fayose was the N10 billion grant from the Excess Crude Account, which
was released to all States for capital projects, N2.8 billion requested from Wema Bank to pay State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) counterpart fund out of which N1 billion has been accessed and N600 million for MDGs counterpart fund, which has been repaid,” said the state government in a statement signed by one of the governor’s aides, Lere Olayinka.
The statement alleged that Fayemi’s media handlers tried yesterday, to get the false report published in major newspapers, claiming that they had a classified document from the DMO.