The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) team deployed to Ekiti State to commence findings on some projects by the state government on Tuesday grilled the governor, Kayode Fayemi over N25billion bond which he allegedly mismanaged during his first term in office.
Recall that the Ayo Fayose led-administration had last year, in a white paper, indicted Fayemi of financial mismanagement, which was said to have plunged the state into needless debts to be defrayed till 2036.
But Fayemi while responding to the SEC team, debunked the claim by his predecessor, that he mismanaged the N25bn bond sourced from the capital market during his first tenure in office.
He said the funds were properly utilized on projects that are beneficial to the indigenes of the state.
Fayemi, during the inspection also said the completion of the repayment of the bond had rubbished claims by Fayose.
He also noted that the first tranche of N20 billion had been defrayed, adding that the repayment of the remaining N5 billion would be completed next year in line with the repayment plan.
He explained that the funds were expended on the construction of 11 roads across the three senatorial districts, Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ire Burnt Brick, Ekiti Liaison Office in Lagos, Adunni Olayinka Civic Centre, Ekiti Parapo Pavilion and Oke Ayoba Governor’s Lodge, among others.
“There were a lot of hullabaloos and political gimmickry about the N25 billion bond and that led to the white paper released by the last government to stop me from coming back as governor. Your coming back for the assessment is very necessary for Ekiti people to get clarifications on how we utilised the money, because what we did was far more than what we took from the capital market and you could attest to this, having toured some of the projects’ sites.
“Even the last tranche of the bond was taken by the last government to build this new governor’s office. With this, there was no need to build another one.
“We commenced work on the proposed new governor’s office at the secretariat, but we only did the earthwork and upon realising that the contractor was not performing, we had to terminate it and re-awarded it to Interkel Nigeria Limited after paying 30 per cent mobilisation. We forwarded our report to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), because we wanted to retrieve our money back,” Fayemi said.
Going further, Fayemi explained that his administration originally requested for N600 million to build the Oke Ayoba Lodge which was just a part funding for the project as the sum of N2.7 billion was spent on the project.
The leader of the SEC team, Mr. Usman Kawu Mohammed, explained that the visit was to assess and monitor compliance with the rules of the commission.
Usman stated that bond-taking is not about an individual but institution, saying the SEC’s assessment was to ensure transparency and probity in governance and prudent utilisation of public funds.