N205.19b debt: Ihedioha raises alarm over Uzodinma’s ‘unbridled borrowing’

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Emeka Ihedioha (file photo)

N205.19b debt: Ihedioha raises alarm over Uzodinma’s ‘unbridled borrowing’

  • Accuses Imo govt of mortgaging the state

By Cliff Ayozie in California

Imo State former Governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, has raised the alarm over the state’s rising debt profile, which he said, has hit N205.19 billion.

Ihedioha, who condemned what he described as the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led administration’s unbridled borrowing, spoke as the Special Guest at the Mbaise USA 13th Annual Convention at Santa Clara, California, United States of America.

He said, “Statistics released in April this year by the Debt Management Office (DMO) shows that the debt profile of Imo State has jumped to N205.19 billion, which means it has more than doubled from the level I brought down the huge debt profile I inherited from the previous administration.

“The high indebtedness of Imo State, incurred in the last two and half years is cause for worry. This is because, while other states like Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Akwa Ibom with the same level of debt profile have robust economic activities, including significant internally generated revenue to meet their loan obligations, Imo State is left with practically nothing to fall back on to support its loan exposure.

“What this means is that the debt burden, without economic activities to generate revenue, will continue to weigh the state down.”

Ihedioha described the high indebtedness as man’s inhumanity to man and a mortgaging of the future of the state.

The former governor, who used the opportunity to thank the people of Imo State especially of Mbaise extraction for their support, also gave an account of his seven months stint as the governor of the state.

He said that rebuilding Imo State was at the heart of his growth and development initiatives. Of priority, he noted, was the development of the human capital index, the economy and infrastructure with special interest in the rural areas.

Ihedioha, who set up Technical Committees to harness potentials in the state, said that he took steps towards enhancing the internally generated revenue (IGR) thereby raising monthly revenue to over N1 billion (One  billion naira) by blocking areas of leakage through the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA), while reducing the dubious debt profile of the state.

During his seven-month old administration,  Ihedioha said that short, medium to long term contracts were awarded to redress the poor state of roads in the state.

To support rapid rural development, the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives said that he ordered Caterpillars, Graders and Pail loaders for each of the 27 local government areas of the state.

He further disclosed that he restored the people’s confidence through probity and accountability, full and regular payment of monthly salaries and pension arrears without stretching the aged beneficiaries for verifications in Owerri.

While addressing no fewer than 2,000 delegates from across the U.S., Europe and Nigeria, Ihedioha assured that if given an opportunity to preside over the affairs of the Imo State again, he would be bold In redressing the developmental retrogression in the state.

Hope-Uzodimma

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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