Human rights group, Concerned Nigerians for the Protection of Human rights and Rule of Law Initiative has enjoined the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to block the loan request by governor Hope Uzodinma led government of Imo state.
The group in a press statement signed by its Convener, Deji Adeyanju said, Governor Hope Uzodinma has taken too many loans in the pretense of paying the local government workers and pensioners which he never did.
You would recall that the Imo State government led by governor Hope Uzodimma had in the past, embarked on a borrowing spree, without any tangible project to show for.
In 2021 alone, the Imo State House of Assembly granted Hope Uzodinma’s led administration, the approval to borrow N8.9 billion from Fidelity Bank and other numerous of such requests , for undisclosed reasons, which sparked enormous criticism from sections of Imo people. Till date, it is important to note that the governor is yet to account for the borrowed monies.
This was barely three months after the State House of Assembly also approved the request of the Hope Uzodinma led administration to borrow N7.5 billion to purchase vehicles for public officers, even as the government owes civil servants and pensioners arrears in excess of eight months.
Also, in the year 2020, the Imo state government announced that it had commenced discussion with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for a loan of N52 billion to be channelled into Adapalm plantation. Currently, Imo state’s debt profile is over N100 billion.
We have also been reliably informed that Hope Uzodinma led government is planning on borrowing an additional loan of N15 billion naira from Zenith Bank for payment of salaries, gratuities and pension of Local government workers. The plan is to take N256m in each 27 local government names. This is going to be the 6th of such unaccounted loan requests since he became governor. We condemn this move and we enjoin the Federal Government and the EFCC to halt this reckless loan acquisition by the government of Imo State.
Adeyanju also called on the state governor to devise a creative and innovative ways of creating an enabling environment for small scale businesses to thrive, improving the Internal Generated Revenue of the state and the living standard of the Imo people.