The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kwara State, has faulted the State House of Assembly for approving Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s request to obtain a N35billion loan, saying that the move would plunge the State into insolvency and hamper its capacity to meet future obligations.
In a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, the party said by approving the ‘ridiculous and humongous’ loan request, the Speaker, Hon. Danladi Yakubu and other members of the House had shown that they do not care about the future of the State but were only out to satisfy their selfish interests.
The party averred that the decision of the Assembly to approve the loan request was ill-thought-out, depressing and disappointing, noting that the lawmakers are in the habit of approving whatever the governor puts on their table without considering its consequences on the future of the State and its people.
The Kwara PDP said it expected the House to have asked the governor to explain where bulk of cash inflows into Kwara since May 2019 have gone to and also justify reason for the loan request before approving it. The party also asked Governor Abdulrazaq to make public, a comprehensive utilization plan for the N35billion loan, for well-meaning Kwarans to see and debate its desirability.
It also challenged the Governor to account for the huge revenues that have flowed into the State since he assumed office, including federal allocations, grants and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), before thinking of obtaining a loan.
The statement reads in part:
“Governor Abdulrazaq should explain to Kwarans how he spent over N60billion federally-allocated funds Kwara has received since he assumed office in May 2019 and all the internal revenue realized by the State including the N19.6bn generated in 2020, as recently announced by the State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS).
“Our party is worried that the growth in revenues of the State including monthly FAAC allocations and IGR, has not translated into better living condition for Kwarans. Despite increase in revenues, Governor Abdulrazaq has failed to enhance the lives of our people through better infrastructures and sustainable programmes. Instead, the governor and his appointees have been using public money to finance their opulent lifestyle and party interests.
“What has been the impact of our huge monetary inflows on provision of infrastructural facilities, education, healthcare delivery, poverty alleviation, economy among others? We challenge the Governor to point at any significant project or programme he has executed or introduced since he assumed office. It is apparent that all what has been done by the administration of Governor Abdulrazaq isn’t commensurate with the huge financial resources that had accrued to the State since May 2019.
“There is therefore no assurance that the government will ensure judicious use of the loan facility it wants to obtain. This is why wellmeaning Kwarans must stand up and resist the Governor’s proposed borrowing that will plunge our State into insolvency and hamper its capacity to meet future obligations.
“The Kwara PDP notes that the government can finance infrastructures and grow the State’s economy without resorting to reckless borrowings. As we earlier suggested, Governor Abdulrazaq should learn from immediate past Governor of the State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who rather than borrowing, deployed his foresight to expand the State’s revenue base to finance critical infrastructure and programmes.
“Governor Abdulrazaq should therefore look inward to improve the IGR base of the State, reduce cost of governance, block leakages, stop awarding inflated and bogus contracts and ensure judicious use of the State available resources instead of throwing Kwara into unbearable debt burden and mortgaging its future.
The Kwara PDP concludes that as affirmed by a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barrister Akogun Oyedepo on a radio programme yesterday, Governor Abdulrazaq was not prepared for leadership and has failed to fulfill to any of his campaign promises to Kwarans.”67