June 11, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Citizen kicks against more loans for Taraba State

Taraba State citizen Mr. Abdullahi Usman, has petitioned Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Folashodun Shonubi over alleged plans by Gov. Agbu Kefas to access a N206bn loan facility.

Usman alleged that the governor planned on getting the loan from commercial banks in violation of laws guiding the process of loan application by the various tiers of government. He prayed the CBN governor to, as a matter of utmost urgency, instruct the affected commercial banks to suspend any consideration of granting the requested loan.

“If the CBN governor does not urgently wade into this matter, the state will be thrown into a perpetual state of abject poverty. The state will also be saddled with an excruciating debt burden and an inability to meet its financial obligations.

“Such a situation will impact negatively on the capacity of the state to remain a viable entity,’’ the petitioner said while also praying CBN authorities to instruct the affected banks to present copies of relevant approvals from all agencies.

“They should also present limitation of use of commercial bank loans to fund capital expenditures and state budgets and finally, restriction of all loan facilities to Taraba until after the final determination of the ongoing gubernatorial litigation by the Supreme Court,’’ he said.

The petitioner, through his counsel, said that the petition became necessary in order to draw the attention of the CBN governor to the planned contravention of the law. He said the petition was also necessary to enable the CBN to take proactive steps and investigate the matter with the aim of discouraging the affected banks from getting involved in the process.

The petition is copied to President Bola Tinubu, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), among others.

According to Usman, the loan facility requested by the Taraba State government from some commercial banks is hasty, ill-conceived and a wasteful venture that is politically motivated to shore up the power-base “an embattled governor and an attempt to put Taraba in a state of perpetual servitude of paying debts beyond its means.”

The petitioner alleged that the Taraba State House of Assembly’s prompt approval of the governor’s letter read on the floor of the house by the speaker, regarding the loan was hasty and ill-advised.

“Taraba is one of the poorest states in Nigeria, and is already over-burdened with humungous debts and repayment of various facilities. How then could any commercial bank in Nigeria resort to inaccurate, unsustainable and unrealistic cash flow projections to avail Taraba any loan facility at the moment?

“All the cash flow projections for Taraba cannot adequately accommodate the repayment plan of a loan of N206 billion for a tenure of four years at 23 per cent interest rate,’’ he said.