Monday, December 6, 2021

    Imo State Govt Borrowing: PDP cannot debt-shame Uzodimma administration

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    Naija247news Editorial Team
    Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.


    We have noticed Imo PDP’s disgraceful attempt to radicalize public opinion over Gov. Hope Uzodinma’s attempt to finance the evolving needs of our dear state, Imo.

    In an error-strewn pamphlet released Thursday evening, the cyber terror party falsely accused the legislature of “secretly” passing a supplementary budget of N31bn and approving Uzodinmma’s plan to borrow additional “N18bn from the black market”, all in one night.

    Not only are the twin allegations mischievous, the PDP lacks both moral and cognitive integrity to discuss them for obvious reasons.

    First, there is a difference between SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET and VIREMENT.

    A supplementary budget is a request for additional funds during the course of the year. Virement on the other hand is merely the movement of money from one part of a budget to a different one. In a supplementary budget, the executive presents a fresh spending proposal for approval leading to an expansion of budget size; in virement the executive seeks to re-order the existing budget to reflect new priorities while retaining the budget size. The latter is what the Imo legislature considered and approved on Wednesday evening through an executive bill presented by the Majority Leader.

    Governor Uzodimma requested the virement (re-ordering of the budget) to scale-up funding for security in view of the situation in Imo. The House convened, considered and approved the request to boost ongoing efforts to address insecurity in the state. How else will the Governor’s promise to reconstruct destroyed houses in Izombe materialize if not through legitimate appropriation?

    We are no longer shocked that the PDP opposes any attempt to subdue insecurity in Imo. As of mid January 2020, the party began to issue threats to Imo people after reinventing itself as spokesman for riff-raffs, hoodlums, bandits, and arsonists. So the push back is expected. Our only surprise is that the party failed to spot the difference between supplementary budget and virement despite pursuing the latter when it held sway in 2011; despite claiming to have lettered members in its diminishing fold. If it could trip over such simple concepts, we wonder what other misinformation the PDP has inflicted or intends to inflict on unsuspecting Imolites. Indeed, “malice is only another name for mediocrity” (Patrick Kavanagh).

    For the records, the government of Imo state requested approval from the legislature to key into an FGN midwifed bridging loan for the 36 states by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to soften the effect of resumption in the payment of existing FGN loans such as salary arrears bailout facility, budget support facility, excess crude backed loan, etc. Each state is to access some N18.7b at 9% interest rate, a tenor of 30yrs, and two years moratorium.

    Contrary to the PDP’s illiterate view, the CBN is not a black market, neither is strategic state borrowing immoral. If the PDP understood its role as opposition, it would champion the judicious use of borrowed funds and not labour over shaming the Governor for borrowing to solve chocking problems.

    While we advise that its agents of propaganda return to the classroom as their brain muscles can no longer grasp delicate matters, those who still listen to or follow the PDP must know that they do so at grave risk to their own mental health; the party has lost its way.

    GACIY insists that Governor Hope Uzodinma will continue to take every necessary step within the law to reconstruct, rehabilitate and recover our dear state, Imo.


    Collins Ughalaa KSC.
    October 22, 2021.

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