… Rivers, Lagos, Ogun top list
On the back of prudent management of scarce resources by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, Edo State is no longer on the list of top ten most indebted states in Nigeria.
The Debt Management Office (DMO), in its third quarter 2022 data on the state of Nigeria’s debt stock, said the country’s total domestic debt stocks for all states, as of September 2022, had increased to N5.36 trillion, an increase of 128.44 billion Naira from the previous quarter’s N5.28 trillion.
The report listed Lagos, Delta, Ogun and Rivers State as the most indebted with N877,035,995,031.70; N272,612,510,528.95; N241,782,021,304.96 and N225,505,011,356.00 respectively.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, said the report is a testament to the accountability, transparency and the prudent management of resources by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government.
The fifth most indebted state, according to the report by the DMO, is Akwa Ibom with N219,617,660,991.63, closely followed by Imo, Cross River, Oyo, Plateau and Bayelsa States with 207,520,959,471.52; 175,198,799,155.96; 160,071,143,937.27; 151,903,415,543.09 and 151,158,248,963.07 respectively.
According to Osagie, “The Edo State Government, under the sterling leadership of Governor Obaseki, has been very intentional in its vision to achieve economic prosperity for the state and has continued to adequately deploy all resources that accrue to the state to projects aimed at improving the livelihoods of the people.
“The recent report by the Debt Management Office is a testament to that fact. Edo State today, is witnessing an increase in Internally Generated Revenue on the back of nuanced reforms in the state to boost revenue inflow. Amid dwindling revenue from the federal government, the governor has continued to pursue life-transforming industrial and infrastructural projects and other massive developments to engender economic prosperity, leveraging private capital.
“Through the yearly Alaghodaro Summit alone, the government has attracted the inflow of over $2 billion investments into the state, including the $500 million attracted through the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP). Saro Africa Group of Companies also began injecting about $250 million in the state through its Integrated Agricultural Project. The $10 million Edo Refinery project is another signature project. There are also investments in the technology, creative, manufacturing, food processing and energy sectors, among others.
“Edo has become a fine example of how sub-nationals can leverage public-private partnership to drive economic development and improve the livelihoods of the citizens.”
He added, “It has become a certainty that the huge amount of infrastructural, economic and industrial projects which Governor Obaseki churned out in these few years with such limited resources would certainly create a towering legacy that his successor will grapple with.”