The outgoing Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has explained that the current foreign debt owed by the State Government was inherited from previous administrations before his tenure which began in 2015.
According to Debt Management Office (DMO) , Lagos State’s total external debt stock as at December 31, 2018 stood at $1.43 billion. The external debt comprised of $1.28 billion from multilateral sources and $143.83 million as bilateral, sourced mainly from the African Development Bank.
According to him, during his four-year tenure, his administration never took foreign credit facility to run State activities.
The Governor, who made the disclosure during an interview, said that despite the numerous infrastructure the State Government had planned for the development of the State, the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) did not seek foreign option for financial support.
Before Governor Ambode’s administration, the State was governed by Bola Tinubu (the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress party) from 1999 to 2007, while Babatunde Fashola (the current Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing) governed from 2007 to 2015. All the Governors belong to the same political party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).
How Governor Ambode managed without foreign capital: Governor Ambode in his reaction to the State’s foreign debt said he was able to manage Lagos State’s finances due to his financial background and his experience as accountant-general for the State’s civil service before he emerged Governor.
Rather than piling up the debt, Ambode said he was financing the debt during his tenure which will end in May 2019. He will be handing over to Governor-Elect Babajide Sanwo-Olu (APC), who won the State election in March, 2019.