ON BORROWING: Benue State House of Assembly Should Take A Leaf From The Senate

What Baba did was to look beyond the oil and diversify the nation’s economy. He conspicuously invested in the agricultural sector and also developed a tangible and plausible framework for other mineral resources to be harnessed.

The entire world became shocked at the rate in which our GDP took a top speed and our Forex appreciating in a geometric progression.
Baba did not consider borrowing, rather, he got Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and others to facilitate debt pardon from our foreign creditors.
What Nigerian youths fail to understand is that this government does not seem to have a guarantee that whatever loans taken would be redeemed before the end of its stay in 2019.
What this connotes is that, the next generation (the youths) would have to pay for the sins of some irresponsible and irresponsive government.
The Senate decided to stand for the future of Nigerian youths today.
Let me borrow the exact words used by Senator Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, under APC.
He said: “If we cannot leave behind a profile of prosperity for our children, we must not leave behind a profile of debt”.

That is the situation in Benue State today. The government of Pastor Samuel Ortom has practically mortgaged the future of Benue youths via his giant and endless appetites for borrowing.
Little did we know that Uncle Sam embarked on borrowing spree in his first year in office; and I lost count of his borrowing voyage when it hit an outlandish sum of N70bn in just 7 months in office.
Benue youths, however, did not know that Gov. Ortom used their future as ‘collateral’ for his litany of loans.
All the loans the Governor has taken so far, are said to be payable in the next 50 years, as contained in the deeds of agreement.
I am not a Marrabout or soothsayer, but I know that the life expectancy cycle in Nigeria may not allow some present crops of leaders to be in position of power by year 2066.
Thus, all the borrowings are waiting for us and our children to service.
This is an exact case of a father eating a plate of pepper soup and the son is busy purging.
Unfortunately, the State Assembly which should have served as gatekeeper for our common interest has suddenly become ‘a toothless bulldog’ that watches the plough, plunging our commonwealth with impunity.
Aside the fact that the Assembly leadership and members lack the moral standi to check the excesses of the Governor, because they have their hands soiled in countless scandals, it is also rumoured that such requests for loans do not pass easily without the Governor ‘greasing the throats’ of the legislative accomplice.
Thus, Benue youths should also hold the State Assembly responsible for culpability and complicity in mortgaging the tomorrow of Benue State.
The 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has shown clearly that the legislative arm of government can also help save the future of a people from untold hardships and cognate slavery.

(Yemi Itodo, an indigene of Benue State, writes from Abuja).

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