Kwara incurs N30.2bn debt, says finance commissioner

The Kwara State Government has said that its debt profile stands at N30,203,632,608.29 and not over N50bn reported in the social media.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, while making a clarification in a statement in Ilorin on Tuesday, said contrary to public speculation, the state’s current debt portfolio stood at N30,203,632,608.29 with a monthly repayment of N496,367,109.08.

Banu said, “The debt profile of the state was N31,481,082,712.95 in 2017 and stood at N30,751,665,421.83 at the end of 2018, contrary to social media speculations that our debt burden is N50.2bn.”

Giving a breakdown of the indebtedness, Banu explained that “the N30.2bn includes N15,325,541,483.03 as the balance of the Federal Government restructured loan, N4,002,948,667.07 as salary bailout, excess crude account loan outstanding of N9,324,613,607.52 and vehicle loan balance of N128,916,612.87.

“Others are the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and the Anchor Borrowers Programme Agriculture Scheme with respective balances of  N646,213,285.03 and N679,233,857.13 as well as International Aviation College loan balance of N96,165,095.64.”

While clarifying that the repayment of N496,367,109.08 was deducted from the state’s monthly federal allocation, Banu added that the figure included a monthly deduction of N39,632,016.56 as repayment for foreign loans obtained by the government in the 1970s.

Banu explained that the Federal Government restructured the state government’s short-term and long-term loans to reduce monthly repayment, while the state also benefitted from a N5bn salary bailout loan in 2015.

The commissioner stated that the excess crude account loans were Federal Government-backed bank facilities which served as seed money for the Kwara State Infrastructure Development Fund and the payment for ongoing projects in the state.
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