The Edo state All Progressives Congress APC has blasted Governor Godwin Obaseki over claims that the nation’s economy is critical due to the enormous debt burden.
Obaseki had last week said the country’s economic situation is more critical now because of the enormous amount borrowed to service it.
While reacting to the claim, the party described the governor’s statement as “spurious, alarmist, untrue and wicked”.
The Edo State APC caretaker committee chairman, Col. David Imuse (retd), who spoke in a statement through the assistant secretary of the committee, Ofure Osheobo, described Obaseki’s criticism of the Federal Government on the state of the economy as “a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.”
According to him: “the proper position is that under governor Obaseki’s watch, Edo state’s economy is in dire straits with a foreign debt of $300million.
“In the past seven months, Obaseki has plunged Edo into more debt by taking more loans which have seen a 67 per cent increase in its debt profile.
“Edo under him has overtaken Rivers as the state with the highest foreign and domestic debt in the South South and it is on a steady course to displace Lagos as Nigeria’s most indebted state,” he said.
“In addition, a domestic debt including loans from commercial banks, the capital market, and other doubtful sources is approaching N120billion as at March this year, for non-existent projects.”
Imuse lamented that the state now spends more money servicing debts than on education, healthcare and infrastructure without a state cabinet and an aged public service, emphasizing that “other states are working assiduously at reducing the debt burden on their citizens”.
He said Governor Obaseki should “use the fora created by the National Economic Council, the Nigerian Governors forum and the Nigerian Economic Summit, of which he is a member to offer useful ideas, if he has any, rather than singling himself out for paediatric applause.”
The chairman said while Kogi state had successfully reduced its domestic debt from N132.5 billion to N73 billion, Edo state is spending more money servicing debts than financing education, healthcare and infrastructure even without a state cabinet.