The representative of Niger East Senatorial District, David Umaru, has lambasted the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, over the N21.5 billion SUKUK loan facility applied for, saying it will plunge the state into bankruptcy.
Umaru also called on the state House of Assembly not to approve the loan.
He said: “This administration, when compared to previous administration of former Governor Babangida Aliyu, is more financially reckless.”
Umaru at a press briefing on Sunday in Minna, said the capacity of Bello to put to judicious use the funds from SUKUK bonds, if accessed, is not only doubtful but nonexistent.
He said: “It is obvious that this administration is badly obsessed with accessing bond facilities in the presence of infrastructural development, while it has consistently failed to account for the billions of naira accrued from statutory allocation to the State, including other huge financial interventions from the government.
“Governor Bello should be aware that the well informed people of the state, including my humble self, cannot be deceived by the needles lies being canvassed as benefits derivable from the huge burden-laden bonds meant to impoverish the state.
“While the former administration had left a total sum of N44 billion as external debts and close to N30 billion as internal debts, the present administration appears ready to break such record with heavier debt burden despite huge resources that had accrued to the state in the past three years.”
Umaru added that between 2015 and 2017, the Bello administration had accessed over N114 billion as net from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee distributed Federal Allocation.
He said: “Though the State budget keeps increasing (36.3 per cent and 9.4 per cent for the periods 2016-2017 and 2017-2018), the government is increasingly becoming incapable of delivering the democratic dividends as it is enmeshed in growing external and internal debts.
“The state’s external debt is put at N17.13 billion and N31.98 billion as internal debt.
“We are asking Governor Bello to tell us how the bailout funds from the Federal Government and the disbursements from the Paris Club refunds allegedly amounting to about N250 billion were utilized.”
Umaru added that the loans taken by the state, which included $226 million bond from the Islamic Development Bank and $330 million from Kuwait Fund for Arab Development, are 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.
Senator Umaru called on members of the State House of Assembly to withhold approval on the loan request, adding that this would save the state from further impoverishment.
He said: “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.”
He 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.