The Ogun State government reassured residents on Monday, stating that the state’s debt profile, exceeding N200 billion, should not raise concerns. The administration, led by Prince Dapo Abiodun, affirmed its dedication to positioning Ogun as a leading economy in Nigeria by leveraging its human and capital resources. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, shared these insights during a media briefing on the breakdown of the approved 2024 appropriation law at the Olusegun Osoba International Press Center in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
Accompanied by the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Kayode Akinmade, Okubadejo explained the administration’s approach to managing debt. He highlighted the focus on directing debts toward capital expenditures that enhance the state’s revenue capacity and economic foundation.
Okubadejo, who also serves as the Chief Economic Adviser to the governor, emphasized the meticulous consideration of the type and purpose of debts incurred by the state. He clarified that some external loans are long-term, serving as working capital, with a significant portion allocated to funding capital expenditures aimed at boosting the state’s revenue base.
Addressing concerns about the state’s debt position, Okubadejo stated, “There is no cause for alarm. In fact, you should all go and sleep because not only are we careful with the type of debt we take, we are also judiciously utilizing the debts for capital infrastructure that will increase our revenue and improve the economic base, and we have the capacity to pay back.”
He further disclosed the financing plan for the 2023 budget, highlighting that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Federal Allocations would play crucial roles. While projecting N240 billion from IGR and N182 billion from Federal Allocations, Okubadejo assured residents that overtaxation was not on the agenda. Instead, a financial reengineering policy would be implemented to meet revenue targets.
Okubadejo outlined the state’s efforts to create a favorable environment for private sector investment, including the establishment of economic development clusters and reducing the cost of doing business. He reiterated the government’s commitment to executing key economic objectives, such as real sector growth, job creation, food security, poverty eradication, and increased investment.