Dahiru Kera, an All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate aspiring for a seat in House of Assembly under Nafada South Local Government, Gombe State, has decried the state’s spate of increasing debt.
Kera describes the move by Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s administration to obtain loans as an act of misplaced priority and insensitivity towards the citizens of the state. He noted that the state doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate unwise spendings at the moment.
Gombe State with a debt stock of 69,131,414,495.94 as at December 2021, according to data by the Debt Management office, ranks 27 of the 36 states of the federation, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with the highest figure on the list.
However, a group, ‘Gombe Good Leadership Association (GGLA),’ also raised concern over a recent attempt by the governor to secure another loan: claiming to have seen a copy of a letter from the governor to the speaker of the state house of assembly.
The group said: “In the letter, the governor is requesting the resolution of the Gombe State House of Assembly allowing him to access the Federal Government’s Bridging Finance Facility of N18, 746, 059, 992.57.”
Recall that the said group In October 2021 sent out a warning to the governor on the incessant borrowings. saying: “We have been tracking the spate of borrowing by the Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya-led government in Gombe State and have noticed that it has borrowed well over N44 bullion in just a little over two years and yet is embarking on obtaining another loan of N35bn from the Capital Market,” the group says in a statement signed by a trustee of the group Mohammed Salisu Abdullahi.
The group further gave an account of tracked borrowings by the administration: “Already, the Gombe State Executive Council on October 6, 2021 gave its approval for the loan and directed the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning to write to the Minister of Finance to issue an ISPO of N665,605,647.90 monthly to allow deductions from the state’s federal allocation in settlement of principal and interest accruing on the loan through a sinking fund to be created for the purpose and the payment of the financial advisory.”
“Service fees of 0.005% of the sum of N175,000,000.00 to Finmal Finance Services Ltd” (a company owned by Umaru Kwarianga, Chairman of Gombe Investments and Property Development Company, and Campaign Manager of Governor Yahaya’s 2019 election) is worrisome.”
Kera, in his words yesterday, advised the state’s assembly to allow their decisions to reflect the interest and yearnings of the people.