AESID sounds alarm over Umahi’s N10bn loan request, says poverty increased by 16% in 7 years

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenous in Diaspora, AESID, has expressed its deepest concern over the state’s growing debt profile.

This follows another loan request from Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi being approved by the court, which sacked 16 members of the Ebonyi State Assembly for the branch. executive of the state government.

The group said that although most media outlets could not mention the exact amount because lawmakers kept details which, in sensible parliamentary proceedings, should normally be deliberated on the floor of the chambers, a top secret, sources privileged claim that a total of N10 billion was requested by the Governor “for the purpose of completing many ongoing infrastructure projects in the state”.

He recalled that the Speaker of the House of Assembly, EBSHA, Francis Nwifuru, who read the Governor’s letter regarding the loan request, further said during a plenary session that the purpose of raising the loan by the governor to commercial banks was to allow the state government to complete all of its legacy projects.

The loan was approved in a motion presented by the House Leader, Mr Victor Chukwu representing Ezza North West Constituency and seconded by the Deputy Chief Whip, Mr Benjamin Ezekoma representing Ebonyi North West Constituency. East.

The report states: “Nwifuru, however, directed the clerk of the house to make a note to Umahi, informing him of the approval of the loan request to enable him to complete all the legacy projects his administration has undertaken there. a few years ago.”

AESID noted that as an organization interested in accountability and good governance of our people, it is troubled that despite numerous acts of open looting and massive corruption taking place in the state, mostly buried in the cement concretes mixed in roads and unwanted flyovers, the Umahi-led administration, which is only about a year old, could add to the state’s domestic debt burden by asking 10 additional billion naira to commercial banks.

“Firstly, we question the continued use of these 16 leper stooges from Umahi in the State Assembly who had remained sacked by a Federal High Court in Abuja for defecting to the ruling All Progressives party. Congress APC with the Governor in November 2020 by the executive branch to perpetuate their evil agenda of economic plunder of Ebonyi’s meager resources.

“Records from the Debt Management Office showed that as of December 2021, the official sub-national domestic debt profile of Ebonyi State stood at over N42 billion. We are also aware of undisputed claims in some quarters that the Ebonyi State government under Umahi unofficially borrowed from some commercial banks in the state without due process or even recourse to House lackeys. of state assembly. Our external debt profile has also skyrocketed to approximately US$64 million. This does not include the $150 million loan from the Islamic Bank for the state ring road project.

“For a government that inherited a near-zero debt burden from its predecessor and habitually wasted public funds on projects that were not economically viable or sensible, this latest desperation to make our poor Ebonyi a stockpile of debt of the nation is highly condemnable and most unfortunate.

“We can conveniently bet that Umahi, in the course of his ego-driven deceptive white elephant schemes, borrowed and lavished what the next state government could have borrowed for the next eight years. It is even more troubling that such gigantic borrowings do not result in the creation of even a sachet water factory that can generate a Kobo in the coffers of our economically strangled state of Ebonyi. All have focused on capital flight which primarily channels state funds to Umahi, the Umahis and some of his rapacious cronies.

“As if the unconscionable waste of public funds on frivolities was not already enough, AESID recently read in the media of plans by the Umahi administration to spend 600 million naira of taxpayers’ money to celebrate its seventh anniversary in office. For a government that has raised Ebonyi’s poverty index from around 64% to almost 80%, with the state now officially the poverty capital of all of southern Nigeria, Umahi should be ashamed to celebrate the virtual extinction of debt from the state’s economic life and prosperity.

“We at AESID urge the EFCC and spirited Nigerians to step in to stop these deliberate and calculated thefts of our meager resources by a government that has made mass hunger and starvation its official policy AESID will take all necessary legal and corrective action to ensure that the Umahi government no longer takes the natives for granted by wasting or looting the said sum of plums when most Ebonyi families cannot even not afford a square meal due to excruciating man-made poverty and hardship imposed by the Umahi administration.

“AESID is also aware of the victory of a victim of the state’s vexatious cybercrime law through its boiling legal team which was recently declared unlawful by a Federal High Court in Abakaliki. While we commend the Judiciary for the bold move to declare this law contrary to the spirit and letter of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are again concerned that the presiding judge before whom the victim, a Paschal Etu who has remained incarcerated in custody since last year, the government under the said Cybercrime Prohibition Act could not grant bail despite the judgment of the Federal High Court.

“We have been informed that the said trial judge, Judge Onwosi, who was appointed by the governor and has remained a suspect in cases involving the governor, promptly adjourned the case to another date to “give him time. to study the judgment “of a brother judge. . Another judge worthy of such dishonorable mention is Judge HI Njoku of State High Court II whose politically motivated activities and judgments in the judicial ‘Ebonyi remained highly debatable in the eyes of the common man and have since become a matter of national concern.

“We urge the Nigerian judiciary to take note of figures like Judges Onwosi, Njoku and their ilk and sanction them appropriately in accordance with the established disciplinary procedures of the National Judicial Council.

“They were sworn to serve the Ebonyians and the Nigerian public and not the selfish interests of those who by virtue of their privileged elective office appointed them officers of the court.

“For all we know and care, Ebonyi as a state still upholds the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and all key state actors and actors shall live in respect for the laws governing the Nigerian nation”.

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