The Senator representing Niger East, David Umaru, has condemned move by the state government to access N21.5 billion Sukuk bond and other loan facilities for infrastructural development across the state, describing the gesture as a calculated attempt to further impoverish Nigerlites.
The state executive council had within the last three weeks separately approved proposals to access three loans which include N21.5 Sukuk bond; $266 million from Islamic Development Bank and $330 million from Kuwait Fund for Arab Development for infrastructural development.
However in a press briefing on the matter in Minna, Senator Umaru said he was constrained to oppose the desirability of the loans because of the devastating effects the burden of such debts would have on the State and its people.
“It is obvious that the administration is badly obsessed with accessing loans facilities in the pretence of infrastructural development while it consistently failed to account for the billions of naira accrued from statutory allocation to the state including other huge financial interventions from the federal government,” he noted.
He said having been unable to recover from the comatose condition imposed by previous administration of former Governor Muazu Babaginda Aliyu with an outstanding of N8.2 billion still hanging and with nothing tangible on ground to show for it, the current administration should opted to trend the same dangerous path.
He averred that the state has never witnessed wanton dereliction of public accountability and waste like those exhibited by present administration within three years of its inception, adding that while the past administration left a total sum of N44 billion as external debts and close to N30 billion as internal debts, the present administration to trying to break the record.
“Official records put Nige’s external debt as at 2017 at N17.33 billion and N31.98 billion internal debt,” he pointed out adding that though with increasing budget at 36.3 percent and 9.4 percent for 2016-2017 and 2017 and 2018 respectively as well as bailout funds and Paris Club refunds of about N250 billion, the government has consistently proved incapable of delivering democratic dividends to the people.
He urged the state House of Assembly to rise in the defence of the people by throwing out the loans request.
However, responding the state government through the commissioner of information, Danjuma Salau described the Senator’s position as self-serving.
He said the administration inherited a state which infrastructure has dilapidated overtime and was eager to fix same, adding that with lean resources from the federation account and low Internal Revenue Generation, its only fair that state government looks elsewhere to be able to provide the dividends of democracy for the people.
He said the state government is used to the Senator’s holier- than- thou and attention seeking attitude despite belonging to the same party.
He said Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has been very prudent in the management of resources accruing to the state, adding that prosperity would also remember him as someone with genuine intention to touch the lives of his people.