IMO: Why’s Uzodinma Begging For Another N10B Loan?

By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

“He who goes aborrowing, goes asorrowing”! “He that can’t work, let him not eat”!

We welcome you to this edition of your award-winning constructive criticisms short essay series.

In the past week or so, it was reported without refutal that Senator Hope Uzodimma has gone plate in hand once again in three months to beg for a fresh N10 billion loan.

This time around, the loan has been unconvincingly explained as being for the construction of the 35 kilometer Orlu-Owerri Road, which contract value at the outset was put at about N20 billion in Q4 of 2020!

Recall that since the turn of 2021, the Imo State House of Assembly has approved a N20 billion loan for Uzodimma, which attracted enough hue and cry of outrage from sincere Imolites.

This fresh N10 billion loan request coming so soon after the N20 billion loan that he got, Uzodimma has a lot of explanation to render.

The alibi of Orlu-Owerri Road failed on arrival because it’s not ethical for a government to hope on and live by borrowed money.

It’s the view of pundits that it appears that Uzodimma requests for between N10 billion and N20 billion loan every three months.

As at this last count, according to analysts, Uzodimma has borrowed well about N50 billion within his first 16 months failed tenure in office.

That’s why the popular conclusion is that the loans aren’t for the seemingly stagnated Orlu-Owerri Road project.

There’s the argument by critics that Uzodimma must be continually itching to meet up with a mega standing debt which he mandatorily must service every three months.

Though, we aren’t interested in such speculative reasoning and arguments, there seems to be a sense in the thoughts and thinking.

We’re actually bothered with the whole practice of borrowing which Uzodimma has institutionalized as as his only means of driving the comatose economy of Imo State.

As we’ve variously and severally submitted, borrowing is grossly frowned by developmental economics, and is treated as a last resort in situations of force majeure.

Agreed, the insecurity that he fertilized in the State is still raging like a palm kernel fire, that’s still not a force majeure, since it’s man made.

The argument is feeble, which held that borrowing is healthy if it’s done to finance capital expenditure items on the annual appropriation budget.

Point in issue is going by principles of micro and macro econometrics, domestic revenue generation avenues need to be adequately explored and exploited before thought of going aborrowing could be accorded consideration.

There are no indications that Uzodimma has any economic blueprint. He hasn’t any economic team. He just sacked his Commissioner for Budget and Planning, having sacked his Commissioner for Finance earlier.

If there’s any policy or programme for good management of the internally generated revenue (IGR) in Imo State under Uzodimma’s watch, then it must be on paper and not in practice.

And that’s most likely because of his total hope on easy money, which mortgages the present and future of the State and the people.

The most worrisome side of it all is that in spite of all the hundreds of millions of naira Uzodimma rakes in as total revenue, including all the loans and savings from ghosts, there’s nothing to show for it in the State.

Virtually all sectors of the State is begging for funding. Civil servants, education, health, environment, tourism and hospitality, and indeed all other sectors are suffering from lack of funding kwashiorkor!

In the course of following the strange terror-attacks in Imo State after Uzodimma invited military to bombard Orlu area, raining bombs on Imo people, it was discovered that the security apparatchik in the State are starved of funds.

Even the sacked commissioners were revealed to have been shamed and disgraced because they dared to ask for their piling salaries and entitlements, which Uzodimma hadn’t paid for long months.

That’s why we join well-meaning Imolites to condemn the request for a fresh N10 billion. Just like honest Imolites, we would again advise Uzodimma to drive the economy of Imo State with her abundant resources.

Uzodimma once upon a time insisted that Imo State had money, casting aspersions on the opposition for, according to the reports.

It’s too preposterous and quite perplexing that Uzodimma has been embarrassing the State and the people with his persistence on his multiple requests for loans and more loans, of which there’s nothing to account for the humongous revenue that statutorily accrue to the State.

In short, all we’re saying is that Uzodimma should not request for any further loans. He should rather put on his thinking cap and devise alternative sources of revenue than borrowing. The world is watching!

By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!!

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