Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s brother from Obingwa has warned the governor against collecting the $100m foreign loan from Islamic Bank and African Development Bank. He insisted that this loan may spell doom for the governor if he fails to desist and handle the issue properly.
Ebere Uzoukwa who is a renowned journalist and a one time media aide to governor Okezie Ikpeazu had this to say concerning the loan. Please read:-
Ikpeazu’s $100M Loan: My Stand
Gentlemen & Ladies, my attention has been drawn to the ongoing plans reportedly made by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State, to borrow $100M on behalf of the state from a foreign bank. To be candid and honest, there is nothing wrong in borrowing to finance profits yielding ventures and long term development projects. Many states, including Lagos which epitomizes success in good governance and development under the present democracy, had borrowed severally to aid development. However, borrowing without a clear plan and sincerity of purpose, could result to mortgaging the state. It could also lead to financial burden, which may spell endless calamity for the state. It is on record that many State Governors had borrowed hugely and ended up sharing such monies with cronies, family members, fraudulent contractors, money launderers and their partners in crime. Yet, successive governments undertake the burden of servicing and repaying such loans. Without mincing words, such financial crime, as witnessed in some states, has retarded development itself as well as constitutes a clog in the wheel of progress.
Though Dr. Ikpeazu’s desire to contribute his quota in moving Abia forward could be perceived, he seems not to have sincerely packaged himself and the government to earn believability and confidence of the people. There is no gainsaying that Abia people have been unfortunate as good governance has eluded them since the return of democracy in 1999. Past Governors of the state had borrowed at one point or the other under the guise of funding projects. Yet, there are no records showing such loans were properly utilized.
Now, that Dr. Ikpeazu is borrowing, my questions to him and his handlers are, though not limited to the followings;
1. Is Dr. Ikpeazu borrowing to finance profits yielding investments that may aid repayment in the future?
2. Or, is the Governor borrowing to fund infrastructural projects?
3. If the Governor is borrowing to fund developmental/Infrastructural projects, is it not proper he enlists the projects with specific amounts tied to show transparency and sincerity of purpose?
4. Who and who shall constitute the fund managers?
5. Has the Governor sanitized the bureaucracy and administrative structure he inherited from his predecessor, bearing in mind that some elements in the government may rubbish his good intentions, if any?
6. Can he subject the contractors to public scrutiny to ascertain their competence hence some already handling certain projects in the state are mere money launderers and fronts?
Well, I wish Dr. Ikpeazu success in this voyage. As a true Abian, I want every segment of my state to develop rapidly under the governorship and political reign of an Ngwa man. I want Aba, the famous Enyimba city, transformed in terms of infrastructure, good roads to create more opportunities for our talented craftsmen, entrepreneurs and investors. I want to witness the creation of direct and indirect jobs through well-thought-out policies and well coordinated
developmental programmes. If these and many more democratic gains are achievable with the $100m foreign loan, I will be amongst the happiest Abians and supporter of Dr. Ikpeazu, despite not being in the same political party with him.
However, I must sound this note of warning. The $100m may spell doom for Dr. Ikpeazu if caution is thrown to the wind. It could open up his government and subject it to regular visitation by the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies. I am afraid the Governor’s good intention, if any, may be sabotaged. A substantial chunk of the $100m foreign loan may be criminally diverted by Dr. Ikpeazu’s men and those working closely with him. In that case, the LOAN, will ruin the Governor and his future political career.
I rest my case!
Media & PR Consultant, writes from Obingwa