Opinion: Oyo Prosperity Bond: 100bn for Infrastructural Facelift
The fuss about the #100 billion prosperity bond by the opposition party is not only pedestrian but intellectually myopic going by the current economic conditions.
The dearth of infrastructure in Nigeria with particular reference to the pacesetter state i.e. Oyo State, has been attributed to various factors including but not limited to, lack of political will, corruption, bad maintenance culture and paucity of requisite funds.
With regards to the paucity of funds, dwindling allocations from the Federal Government, coupled with an emerging internal revenue collection mechanism have led State Governments to depend on alternative financing arrangements to fund their year-on-year budget deficit.
For years, bank loans at high interest rates have played a significant role in funding the said deficit. However, with the re-emergence of the bond market in 2003, the issuance of same by sub-nationals (states) has offered them a viable option to reducing the said deficit and investing in numerous long term capital projects at comparatively lower cost.
Some of the State Governments that have taken this route of funding and the size of their respective bond issuance exercises are as follows: The Lagos State Government has announced the launch of its third series of #500 billion bond issuance programme which seeks to raise #100 billion- Business News, January 6, 2020. Ondo State #50 billion, September 9, 2019- Business News, Ogun State #250 billion recently approved.
Within a space of eight years, Osun State has raised #30 billion, Lagos, #277 billion; Delta, #50 billion; Edo, #25 billion; Kwara, #17 billion; Gombe, #20 billion; Niger, #15 billion, Plateau, #28.2 billion, and Kaduna, #8.5 billion.
Others are Benue, #13 billion; Ebonyi, #16.5 billion; On do, #27 billion; Ekiti, #25 billion and Bayelsa, #50 billion, among others- Business News
The Oyo State Prosperity Bond of 100 billion is said to be raised in two tranches of 50 billion each for the construction of Iseyin-Ogbomoso Road, the Ibadan Circular Ring Road and Ibadan Airport Upgrade.
The boon of the earmarked projects under prosperity bond fund would translate to impactful facelift of the tract of Ibadan Dry Port, revamping of Ibadan Airport business activities, Iseyin/Ogbomoso road, among others IGR prosperities.
His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde(GSM) is magnanimous enough to ensure that the prosperity bond is tied to infrastructural developments to be handled by eminently qualified contractors with utmost transparency.
The current administration would not have had a course for this outsourcing if APC with eight (8) years of uninterrupted governance with excess crude oil fund, bailout fund, humongous federal allocation among revenues had done the needful of long-term economic prosperity.
The accelerated roadmap of economic development enunciated in PDP/GSM manifesto bothers on education which is being fulfilled and still fulfilling to meet expected standard, agriculture, with agribusiness thriving and farm settlements launched to stimulate internally generated revenue, employment opportunities with a bid to control rural-urban drift; healthcare management with improvement in our general hospitals and other facilities; infrastructural developments are driving force of business investment with the aid of improved security architecture in the state.
The succinct cardinal goals of Sir GSM is in tandem with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
This is to admonish the economically inept folks wailing at why GSM seeks to develop the pacesetter state that it all started here in Oyo State, the headquarters of southwest politics and home of many firsts thus, we continue to lag behind in this region and in Nigeria as a country.
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria, God bless Oyo State and her subjects.
Olawale Muideen AREMU