Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said his administration must look for frontiers to generate funds to keep the government running as the state is technically bankrupt.
The governor spoke, yesterday, when he hosted the Governing Council of the University of Ibadan (UI), led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Waklek Mutka, in his office at Agodi, Ibadan.
He announced the technical bankruptcy barely two days after he said he inherited a debt profile of N150 billion, both foreign and domestic, from the administration of All Progressives Congress (APC), led by former governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Makinde, who was elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said: “When I came in, we were looking for ways to keep the government running because technically, the government of Oyo State is bankrupt. If I take it as a private entity, I won’t lend a dime to the government of Oyo State. I will ask them to start winding up proceedings.
“So, we have been looking for ways to keep the government running. We have been beaming our searchlight on areas we can get money. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) came to me and said they had issue of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) with the University of Ibadan.
“At the governor’s forum, I saw a document where a lot of the states got huge refund from PAYE due to the federal institutions located in such states. I believe Ogun State got about N8 billion; another state in the South West got N10 billion and Oyo State got only about N91 million.
“Then, I wondered what was going on here. They told me it was work in progress and that they had been talking and did not have cooperation from the University of Ibadan.
“I can give you the assurance that this is something for the Federal Government to refund to us. All we need to do is open the books and see what has gone on and have an agreement. I told the BIR chairman that himself and myself will come and meet with the University of Ibadan to get money. We will utilise such money immediately to do things that will lift our environment.”