By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State, is worried over the incessant and questionable borrowings of the Peoples’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in Delta State.
A press statement by the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Barr. Sylvester Ogheneluemu Imonina, observed that Deltans and indeed all men of goodwill are disturbed over the huge and slavery debts hanging over Delta State.
While quoting a report of the Economic Confidential, as at 2018, Imonona, said “Delta State was the second (2nd) most indebted State in Nigeria! That is, by December 2018, the external debt of Delta State was N251,589bn(two hundred and fifty one billion, five hundred and eighty-nine million naira), while the internal debt of the State is N228, 805bn (two hundred and twenty-eight billion, eight hundred and five million naira)
“From available information, as at today, the debt profile of Delta State is over N600,000.000.000.00 (six hundred billion naira). To all conscientious Deltans, this questionable and unwarranted debts are economically crippling.
“Though, unlike Lagos State, said to be the first (1st) on the table of indebtedness, there are no meaningful projects to show for the monies borrowed. Meanwhile, projects they claim to have done or doing cannot stand the test of time, nor are they economically viable in Delta State. Lagos State’s borrowed funds can be seen in laudable projects and most of them are revenue yielding. Is Delta State Government putting the funds in leaking baskets?
“Taking a cursory look at this sad and unfortunate situation, the monies borrowed by the Delta State Government have found themselves in private pockets of some dubious contractors who are used as fronts to siphon these monies for greedy stalwarts of the PDP led Government of Delta State, the economic vampires.
“Two days ago, immediately the 2020 Budget of Delta State was laid before the Delta State House of Assembly, a letter, requesting the consent of the House of Assembly for a loan of N15, 000. 000. 000. 00 (fifteen billion naira) was read to the House. The loan was said to be intended to pay some contractors. Which contracts? We need to ask. Were they done spiritually? And the amusing thing is that, the State Law makers, will not verify the existence of the so called projects before approving it.
“Also noted, by the content of the letter, the readily available banks, which are Zenith Bank, Sterling Bank, UBA, Fidelity Bank, FCMB and First Bank are to be given irrevocable standing payment order (IPSO) for the repayment of the said loan! In other words, once monies get into the accounts of Delta State Government, the banks remove theirs and whatever is left is handed over to Delta State Government, if any. What a smart one by the banks, and slavery mentality of Delta State Government!
“APC, Delta State questions this loan approved two days ago, for the Governor of Delta State by the House of Assembly. Some of the reasons for our position are but not limited to the following:
“Information available to us says that immediately the letter was read to the House, without any form of debate on the merit and demerit of the loan, a motion for the approval of the said loan was moved by a man-Friday of the Governor from Delta South Senatorial District, and two of his partners from Delta North Senatorial District supported the motion. To us, what happened was pre-arranged in order for the Governor to have a smooth sail!
“The names of the benefiting contractors, for whose interest the loan was sought for, were not mentioned to the generality of the House! We state that, could the contractors be non-existent?
“The projects for which the loan were/are sought for, were not mentioned to the generality of the members of the House and the public. Are Deltans Not entitled to know? What a “blank cheque”!
“PDP has so many election matters pending at the Court(s) with other Party(s). Could the said loan be meant for some sinister moves? Could that be one of the reasons, the beneficiaries and/ or the contractors were not made known to the public?
“We state that the business of governance is a public business. Taking of loans and disclosure of those the loans are meant for, do not in any way constitute security issue. We know that freedom of information law exists in Delta State, but it is a fact that same is a cosmetic law that is not practiced or complied with by agencies of Delta State Government!
“Deltans deserve to know what their monies are spent on. Governance is not supposed to be an act of secrecy! We therefore call on Deltans and all well-meaning people to rise up to the occasion and ask questions. We also call on EFCC and ICPC to do more in achieving the purpose for their existence, as it concerns the seeming shady deals of most corrupt officials of PDP led Government. This loans indeed need forensic investigations, or else, a few will keep seeing our commonwealth as individual’s wealth.