From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta.
The gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State in the 2015 general elections, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, has faulted the recent request by the Ogun State Government for a fresh $350 million World Bank loan.
According to him, the recent proceedings of the House of Representatives committee that examined the loan request suggested that the humongous loan was unnecessary.
Isiaka’s view was contained in a release signed by the Director of Research and Communication, of The Believe Movement, Kola Ogunleye, on Monday in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.
He, however, wondered why a state which had enjoyed several financial assistance from the federal government and in bracket of high IGR earners, needed another ‘jumbo’ loan.
“Not only has the state taken two tranches of federal government bailouts, it also received two installments from the Paris Club refund to the tune of tens of billions. Notably too, the state has always boasted of IGR in excess of N7billion monthly; So one wonders the need, yet again, for a new loan of this magnitude.
“It is doubtful if the current level of indebtedness of the state government which is put at about N300billion, can still accommodate additional loan burden if the provisions of the Debt Management Act and the Fiscal Responsibility Act are taken into cognizance.
“The truth of the matter is that the quality of social services, human capital development and relevant public utilities are abysmally low in Ogun state, even with the high level of loans already sourced and high IGR receipt in the state. The lifetime of this administration is less than 19 months and it should rather busy itself with how to offset those humongous loans rather than take new ones,” Isiaka stated.
While observing that the purpose and details of the loan was unclear to Ogun state citizens, the politician, urged the state House of Assembly to wake up to its responsibility by ensuring loans approved are for the development of the people adding “the existing debt burden should not allowed to continually increase such that it will hamper the capacity of future administrations to function effectively”.
He, therefore, lauded the courage of the National Assembly committee for the steps taken so far and urged the Committee to decide on the propriety of the loan based on sound prudence and debt sustainability considerations.