Comrade Yahaya Isa Jimoh ( [email protected] )
I read with disgust the unconscionable reaction of the State Government – through their paid hirelings who called themselves Kwara APC New Media Team – to the concern raised by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over the endless and reckless borrowings of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq that it said could plunge the State into uncontrollable debt profile and cripple its economy.
In the statement that was laced with invective and fallacies, the depraved author laboured in futility to dress Abdulrazaq in deceptive robes and also justify his penchant for loans that will mortgage the future of Kwara State.
The reaction of those who labelled themselves Kwara APC New Media Team is understandable as they are part of those who are being fed through the commonwealth of Kwarans that’s being insensitively looted by their paymasters. They will therefore do and say anything to defend their pot of soup.
First, it should be noted that not only the PDP has expressed worry over the level of debt being incurred by the present administration, other well-meaning Kwarans including members of the ruling APC are worried by Abdulrazaq’s love for reckless borrowings. This is because it relates to the future and development of Kwara.
Also, the claim by the bootlicking Kwara APC New Media Team that funds borrowed by the previous administrations were looted and have no impact on the populace, is false and baseless. The N17billion loan obtained by the administration of Dr Bukola Saraki over a decade ago was judiciously used to execute developmental projects that are not only noticeable today but are also serving the people of Kwara.
For the avoidance of doubt, the N17billion bond was used to execute the following developmental projects: the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, the International Aviation College, Ilorin, the Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, the remodelling of the Ilorin Township Stadium, Upgrading of Asa Dam Waterworks and phase one of Ilorin Water reticulation Projects, Urban and Rural Electrification, Rural and Feeder Road Projects, Ilorin Metropolitan Street Lights Projects, and the Kwara Mall Project.
Without doubt, these projects had and still have significant impacts on the economy and development of Kwara State and also provided thousands of direct and indirect jobs. The establishment of KWASU expanded access to tertiary education for Kwarans. The university has become a model for higher education in Nigeria. The International Aviation College launched Kwara as an aviation hub and has over the years produced manpower for the country’s aviation sector.
Aside from the projects financed through the N17b bond, the Saraki administration also embarked on several key infrastructural projects and programmes that earned him the label “architect of modern Kwara”. It should be noted that the Saraki administration accessed the N17b bond when the State was realizing barely N500million monthly as internally generated revenue (IGR). We all know how much Kwara is making from IGR today, thanks to the ingenuity and foresight of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who restructured the State internal revenue agency and significantly improved the IGR of Kwara from N500m to over N1.5billion monthly.
It is therefore worrisome that at a time the State is generating about N2billion monthly and receiving an average of N3.5billion as federal allocation, the administration of Gvoernor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq within 6 months, obtained over N50billion loans.
The poser now is that if the APC government under Abdulrahaman has incurred over N50billion debt in less than two years of his administration, how much indebtedness will they have plunged the state into by 2023 when he will leave office? Indeed, Kwara citizens have entered a one chance Taxi, as affirmed by a top APC leader and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
What is more worrisome is that the projects the Governor claimed he wants to finance with the loans are white elephant projects. An example is the proposed Tipper Garage flyover that many citizens have kicked against which they said isn’t a priority as there are different alternative routes the government should have constructed and opened up rather than wasting billions of taxpayers’ money on the flyover.
As stated by the Kwara PDP, Governor Abdulrazaq’s penchant for borrowing is not sustainable and portends great danger for Kwara’s economy and development as it will plunge the State into an uncontrollable debt profile and hinder its capacity to meet future obligations.
Rather than casting aspersion on the personality of Kwara PDP PROP, Tunde Ashaolu, the APC New Madia Team should ask their governor to account for the over N280billion revenues that has flowed into Kwara under his watch since May 2019.
Kwarans are not fools. The sycophantic Kwara APC New Media team should stop insulting their intelligence. Governor Abdulrazaq’s administration has been an unmitigated disaster and absolute failure in all ramifications. Kwarans have seen the difference and cannot wait till 2023 to kick him out and bring on board a better leadership. No amount of abuse, lies and propaganda can change that.
Comrade Yahaya Isa Jimoh ( [email protected] ) writes from Ilorin.
28th November, 2021
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of NEWS DIARY NG or any of its reporters/editors.