Stop Embarrassing Governor Oyetola with Your “Fudged” Amount, an advice to Osun Commissioner of Finance, Bola Oyebamiji
Unfortunately, our Governor, the current governor of Osun has continued to allow some of his men to divide the APC Osun further, judging from the recent official statements of his men.
Last week, when the former DG DMO, Tunde Adejumo, whose term has long expired issued that abominable official statement, that Oyetola inherited over 200billion naira debt instead of the 141 billion Naira domestic public debt, previously confirmed by Chief Oyetola himself, as “Governor in waiting” and the external subsidiary debt of 30billion naira. I had to move quickly to expose them in my press release dated 18th March, 2022 that they are looking for a “fudge amount” of over 30 billion naira to embarrass the current governor. Unfortunately and to the chagrin of everybody, all the “strange items”, Tunde Adejumo wants to add to the public debt of Osun to arrive at “over 200billion naira”) have no figures or amounts attached to them. Not a single one, despite his fruitless efforts of releasing two statements on this flippant claim in the last one week. What an embarrassment? To a Governor, who selected the transition committee that handled the smooth transition from Aregbesola to himself, who had always been Governor in Waiting!!!
Tunde Adejumo, who I employed and made DG of the DMO, when I was the commissioner of finance has chosen the path of perdition to embarrass Governor Oyetola. In addition, there is no accounting standard, mentioned to back this misadventure, in a cash based government accounting since many states are yet to adopt accrual based IPSA. All his theories are based on jaundiced online collections and qualification that lack rigorous academic disciplines that are learned full time in the classrooms of world class institutions and through work experiences. I hope whatever, strange standard being set, by this garrulous and self serving individual will be used to assess, Governor Oyetola, when he leaves office too.
To my friends, I predicted two things, that the government of Oyetola would come out to disown the DMO DG’s frivolous claim and that the DG DMO Osun would send emissaries to apologize to me, as he did last time on his unguided statement before his personal call, which he made begging me to forgive him.
True to my first Prediction, the Commissioner of Finance, Bola Oyebamiji, who is known to be evasive on issues especially state matters was the one, who issued a press release on the 19th March, that was hollow, colorless and dissembling, but laced with contentious statements to atone for his sin to his former boss, Ogbeni Aregbesola , who brought him into public office,. It was the same Oyebamiji that led on, the Aregbesola’s associates, on the political entrapment that later became an albatross for our dear party, APC, in Osun, when Oyetola was to succeed Aregbesola in the middle of 2018, “West lokan” agitation and primary election. So where is the moral ground for Bola Oyebamiji to stand on and to point finger on the wide gorge, per-mutated and created by him between Oyetola and the predecessor, and their respective followers. So, Bola Oyebamiji is not only the beginning of the conundrum, we have found ourselves in Osun APC, he is the testament and only God knows, how long the movie on mischief, perfidy and power play will last.
That Bola Oyebamji’s statement was silent on the subject matter, could mean a “volte-face” on the taunted misguided adventure of “sexing up” the inherited debt balance by his direct report, Tunde Adejumo. That is, Oyebamiji has surreptitiously disowned Tunde Adejumo, his DG DMO. It could also mean Mr Oyebamiji is buying time, waiting for his hatchet man to fabricate figures for the “many strange items”. I employed Tunde Adejumo, I know him and we are waiting for his abracadabra. We will expose him further. However if you analyze their two press statements, the grammatical structures, the idiosyncrasies and the semantics, obviously, the same person wrote the two press statements. Yet their figures are different, that shows the dishonesty and the abysmal level, which they are leading the Governor to, in Osun because of the rat race of nailing Oyetola’s predecessor. It will be good to reply Oyebamiji, in a way, similar to his press statement.
First, Oyebamiji used subterfuge to tell his story on the status of the road projects inherited, without telling us the initial percentage of completion, when bequeathed to their administration. He has forgotten that their commissioner of works, had earlier on mentioned that Gbongan-Akoda road was inherited at 30 percent, so in three and half years they have only added 10 percent . Similarly, Oba Adesoji Aderemi dual carriage road was at 52 percent, when Ogbeni Aregbesola left, God bless their souls, but they have converted it to single carriageway and so Oyebamiji’s 23 percent addition, was it based on the new scope of work or what? So Mr Oyebamiji can not be comparing an Orange with Apple in a civilization. Osogbo (Old Garage)- Ikirun- kwara boundary was at 50percent, when Ogbeni left, Oyebamiji’s efforts in three and half years have only added less than 10 percent. As much as, I have not jumped six (6) feet pole for the current Osun administration on inherited projects, I have also restrained myself from commenting before now, so why is Oyebamiji craving my pen’s trouble on inherited projects? My previous observation on issues, other than the status of inherited projects is not personal or expression of issue with Governor Oyetola. I have congratulated him, twice on the increase in IGR by sending personal messages to him and by asking him to take the glory on this. I know at the beginning of this smear campaign against Aregbesola, I had reached out severally to him to “rein in”, his followers and not to allow the house to be divided by sycophants. My ombudsman’s role has been misinterpreted as “currying his face”. The rest is history.
If Oyebamiji has been very circumspect in his thoughts, he would have noticed that, when their Olaiya “narrow gauge” bridge was being criticized and subjected to brain test in the public “operating theatre”, I did not utter a single word or write about it because of my philosophy of life and understanding of democracy. Making Chief Oyetola, a governor means surrendering our choices to him, to make choice on our behalf and allowing him to make the choice for us, good or bad.. Therefore, I have no beef with the abandonment of projects by he current governor of Osun or his “lack of skin” in the inherited projects. it is his choice and he is entitled to it, but using the debt that can be refinanced or restructured as an excuse for the choice, is a profanity (with due respect) for a government, headed by a man, who was the Chief of Staff for eight years of Aregbesola. At this stage, I pray, I will not be compelled to comment further, on the inherited road projects, no matter, how provocative Oyebamiji and others are.
Second, the claim by Oyebamiji that his revenues including his internally generated revenues figures are available is a cheap lie because the state has never published its audited financial statements in any newspapers in the recent times. So if you can not find it on the official website of the state; so what’s the definition of public domain used by the Commissioner. His statement in this regard is puerile and nobody should take him serious on disclosure and accountability, expected from any public servant. Apart from the 2020 press release on the auditor’s statement (summary of audit), which gave the IGR figures for 2019 and 2020, nothing was ever heard before and after the press release from the State Auditor-General. Three months, after the end of 2021, nothing has been heard of the IGR figure of the state for 2021. The question is why do we have to wait for secondary sources (abuja DMO, NBS, BudgIT) before we know, the financial status of our state,, Osun. For the past twenty two years, VAT revenues have always been part of the revenues from federation accounts. Some states do place their direct deductions via ISPO on their VAT revenues. FAAC at the federal level always bundles statutory revenues and VAT in their reporting of monthly allocation. So nobody knows the intention of removing VAT revenue from monthly receipt of the state from the federation accounts by Oyebamiji. If it is to convince us, on their claim of negative receipt only, that’s is fine; we know if we add the 400 or 500million VAT revenue back, it is not negative again and that’s bone-head arithmetic. Since, not even the devil knows the intent of man, we will have to be sure of what will become of the VAT revenue in the near future.
On the third issue, Bola Oyebamiji claimed they have not approached any financial entity for facility. I have not mentioned any commercial transaction in my writing (even when I know some in existence), I have mentioned FGN Budget support, that has capacity of impacting direct deductions, so the use of financial entity by Oyebamiji is to dissimulate the issue as usual. The Budget support Facility is from Federal Ministry of Finance, meant for all states and not from a fFinancial entity. The state has up to six (6) months to draw down this facility. Governor Oyetola has said he has not foreclosed debt as financing source, so there is no meed for the Commissioner to grandstand on this or embellish, the issue.
On direct deductions on Osun revenues from federation accounts, I will urge him to do the breakdown of the direct deduction into individual deduction on each of the following debt items bequeathed to the current administration i.e (1) The FGN restructured bond for the states loan (2) External loan (3) CBN backed bailout facility (state portion) (4) CBN – ECA backed Infrastructure loan (5) Budget Support Facility. All the items (except item 5 were created, while I was serving either as Commissioner or Adviser, between August 2011 and December 2016. I had also confirmed their status continuously till recently, from his DG DMO, Osun. I can not direct this challenge to the DG DMO of Osun because he has told me, he doesn’t receive update from the Commissioner or Accountant General on direct deductions as set out by the DMO law and that the Commissioner, Oyebamiji and the Permanent Secretary, do not allow his access to new financing requests and that the duo do “their stuff”. So, Mr Oyebamiji would have to warm up to the challenge of analyzing the direct deduction.
The monthly individual repayment on each debt item is a fixed and equal amount. Once, Mr Bola Oyebamiji supplies, each of them, we can add them up. If the total sum is within the ten (10) percent tolerance level, higher than 1.5 billion naira, we will be satisfied. For this to be autographed, it must take care of the state’s usual monthly accounting adjustments and inter agencies settlement to match the state deductions with its revenues. Honestly, if the total sum of monthly repayment is higher than 1.5 billion naira by more than 10 percent and can be attributed to inherited debt balances, we will honorably leave the issue out of further discussion. To ram the 1.8billion naira direct deductions, into our throats, is not only disdainful, it is mortally insensitive to our sensibilities, especially, when Mr Oyebamiji knows, the states were the one that stopped Federal Ministry of Finance from publishing the monthly allocations and direct deductions of each state as primary source. Oyebamiji is superciliously, saying Osun people are stupid for asking and therefore, they should go and fish out the information on the make-up and the basis of direct deduction, when he knows, it doesn’t exist. Mr Oyebamiji is the public accounting officer, the onus of proof is on him to give the required information. Period.
Wale Bolorunduro, PhD
Former Commissioner of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget writes from 6B Lase Ogunleye Street, off Fadahunsi Avenue, Ilesa, State of Osun.