From: Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator David Umaru, has urged Governor Abubakar Sani Bello not to mortgage the state, even as he lamented what he described as the financial recklessness of the present administration.
Umaru made the disclosure yesterday in Minna at a press briefing, saying that the administration of Governor Sani Bello is determined to plunge Niger state into outrageous indebtedness and possible bankruptcy by taking N21.5bn Sukuk bond.
He added that the state executive arm has become clueless, incompetent and bereft of policies to galvanize resources for the development of the state.
The legislator further urged the governor to account for N114 billion statutory allocation and about N250 billion bailout/Paris club refunds received in the last three years of his administration without tangible projects to show.
The lawmaker lamented that the administration is badly obsessed with accessing bond loans facilities in the pretence of infrastructural development, while it has consistently failed to account for the billions of natural accrued from statutory allocation to the state.
According to the lawmaker, the loans, including $226 million bond from the Islamic Development Bank and $330 million from Kuwait find for Arab Development, is meant to further impoverish the state which is yet to recover from the comatose condition imposed by the huge debt bonds borrowed from the capital market by the previous administration.
“In its history, Niger state has never experienced a terrible period of wanton dereliction of public accountability and waste like those exhibited by present administration of Governor Sani Bello within three years of its inception.
“It I’d more disturbing that even the waste of resources and lack of accountability that characterized the Dr. Babangida Aliyu’s administration especially in its last four years seems minute when compared with financial recklessness of this administration.
“While the past administration had left a total sum of N44 billion as external debts and close to N30 billion as internal debts, the present administration appear ready to break such ugly record with heavier debt burden despite the huge resources that had accrued to the state in the past three years. “
“It is therefore sad and unfortunate that while the people of the state are still groaning under the heavy debts burden incurred by the past administration, the APC led administration of Governor Sani Bello has chosen to add to their pains, hardship and trauma with another huge debts from Sukuk, Islamic Development Bank and Kuwait Funds for Arab Development.”
The Senator expressed worried over reasons canvassed by the government for taking such loans while frowning at the way and manner the projects were distributed doubting the full implementation of the process involved hence the election period by the corner.
Umaru charged on the members of the State House of Assembly to withhold approval on the loan request saying that this would save the state from further impoverishment, “history will not be kind to our House members if they do otherwise. Future generations of Nigerlites and indeed the present generation will hold our lawmakers responsible for mortgaging their future.”
Senator Umaru then called on the people of the state to stand up and vehemently resist and oppose the clueless misadventure of the Governor in seeking the N21.5 billion Sukuk bond.