Obaseki claimed that his predecessor “borrowed recklessly” and left him with a debt burden of 120 Billion Naira.
Ahead of the Edo State governorship elections which is currently underway, Channels Television organised a debate between the candidates of the two major political parties in the gubernatorial race – The All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The debate is a platform for the two contestants to defend their motives for competing for the governor’s office and provide answers to important and relevant questions to the people of Edo.
While answering questions during the Debate, the incumbent Governor of Edo State who is also contesting in the elections, Godwin Obaseki, said: “With a debt burden of 120 billion Naira, we have been able to service and still ensure that we undertake economic projects.”
To verify this, Dubawa identified when Obaseki was sworn in as Governor of Edo state, then consulted the Debt Management Office’s (DMO) website to know where the state’s debt stood before his administration.
After conducting a keyword search, Dubawa found that Obaseki was sworn-in November, 12th 2016. After that, we searched for the earliest debt record to the inauguration in the Debt Management Office’s archives. There, we found data from less than two months after his assumption of office – December 31st. According to DMO, Edo state’s domestic debts stood at N45.1bn while its external debt amounted to $183.64m.
Dubawa converted the External debt figure ($183,641,998.74) which was in Dollars to Naira. This was done using the dollar rate at the time (NOTE: As contained on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s website, the Inter bank rate for Dollar as at December 2016 was 305.22) before summing it with the Domestic figure (45,091,949,113.97) to give the total debts acquired by Edo in 2016. The sum of the two figures equals N101bn (N101,143,159,969.3928) which is less than the 120 Billion Naira claimed by the governor.
Further, we converted the external debt with the current data rate (N381 – CBN price of a dollar as of August 2020) and summed it up with the domestic figure, still, we did not get N120bn but N115bn.
The claim that Obaseki met 120 Billion Naira Debt is False as Data from the Debt Management Office contradicts the figure presented by the Governor of Edo state.