The Presidency Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency recently approved an N8.8 billion share of the Paris loan refund to the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose.
This is notwithstanding the fact that Governor Fayose regularly bashes the Federal Government on whom the financial solvency of the state has depended largely on.
Contrary to claims by the governor, the Federal Government has indeed been supporting the state government in meeting its financial obligations including paying its workers.
An inquiry by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that the state government has received financial support in different forms, from the Federal Government, since the inception of the Buhari administration.
The findings also indicated that the state government’s improved financial position was made possible by recently received N8.8 billion from the Federal Government as part of its share of the Paris loan refund.
This is in addition to the budget support facility given by the Federal Government to some states of the federation, which the state government has consistently been receiving.
NAN findings also reveal that the state spends an estimated N2.6 billion on salaries, subvention, pension and gratuity monthly which would not have come from internally generated revenues.
According to a report published recently by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Ekiti state is one of the states with the lowest internally generated revenue, which was put at N3.3 billion yearly.
From the federation account, the state receives an average of about N1.6 billion monthly.
Based on available data, suffice it to say that the state would not have been able to meet its obligation without other assistance which came mostly from the federal government.
Data from the Ministry of Finance indicate that the Paris Club Loan is merely a fraction of the kind of support the state gets from the Federal Government.
Under the fiscal sustainability plan, the state got N1.3 billion in the first three months then N1.1 billion in subsequent months since it began in June, 2016.
A recent comment published by Sahara Reporters confirms the fact that the state government has largely been dependent on the Federal Government to meet most of its financial obligations, contrary to claims by the governor.
According to the comment, “Ekiti state was once a proud producer of Igbemo Rice. Incidentally, Igbemo Ekiti is the next town to Fayose’s village, Afao Ekiti.
“So, he should tell Nigerians why his government of stomach infrastructure has failed to revitalize the Igbemo rice factory which was once a pride of the Ekiti people.’’
The author of the comment queried why governor Fayose had failed to utilize the state’s comparative advantage in agriculture.
He posed pertinent questions about the governor’s failure to partner with other states to boost agricultural production in the state.
The author asked: “Has the governor of Ebonyi state not increased rice production to the extent that the state is selling rice to other states right now?’’
“Is the lousy governor of Ekiti state not aware that the government of Governor Akin Ambode of Lagos State decided to partner with Governor Bagudu of Kebbi state for the production of rice?
“Is Mr. Fayose not aware that the partnership has created opportunities for Lagosians to buy a bag of rice in Lagos at N12, 000 while it is sold at N20,000 in Fayose’s land of empty stomach infrastructure?’’
On their part, workers in the state have at different forum in 2016 appealed to the governor to use funds released by the Federal Government to clear their salary arrears.