- The Imo State Assembly announced approval of N5bn loan for the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma
BY EBERE EKECHI
Members of the Imo State House of Assembly came under fire, Wednesday, over the approval of N5billion naria loan to Governor Hope Uzodinma, for purchase of official vehicles for appointees of the Governor.
Watchdog group, Imo Awareness Coalition, Imo Youths For Good Governance, and some concerned citizens of the state, took the lawmakers to the cleaners for approving the loan, describing it as misplaced priority.
IAC spokesman, Fidelis Echendu, in a telephone interview said the loan was misplaced and should not have come at a time when the state is in dire economic quagmire.
Echendu said “The N5bn loan should have been used for developmental purposes. Many roads in the state are in a state of disrepair, schools and hospitals need to be built, and some of them need to rehabilitated. That should be the uppermost priority.
He said much as government appointees need official vehicles to function, such amount of money should have been used for human development policies considering the fact there is grinding hardship in the State at a time the State is yet to come out of the covid 19 pandemic.
Barr. Samson Ogadi of Imo Youths for Good Governance said the lawmakers should have rejected the Governor’s request for such a loan.
“N5Bn loan for purchase of vehicles is outrageous. The state government should have patronized INNOSON,, a local car manufacturing company to purchase vehicles for the appointees. That would have reduced the cost and freed up some funds to develop other sectors of the State.
“There are some workers and pensioners who are yet to receive salaries and pensions . All salary arrears should have been cleared before resorting to spending such huge amount of money in buying vehicles
Ogadi called on the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to unveil his roadmap for youth development and empowerment in the State.
“We are waiting patiently and we call for a holistic roadmap from the Governor for the youths of the state” he said
But Mr. Kevin Anyanwu, rose in defence of the lawmakers and the Governor, saying previous governments took loans even more higher than what the present government had collected as a loan.
“We do have poor memory. Loans running into billions of naira were taken by the past Okorocha administration, and no one is raising any alarm about it.
“A probe panel recently indicted the former Governor of the State, for awarding non existent contracts worth N160 billion naira. We had expected some protests on the streets of Owerri. But we saw none.
“Will government appointees function without official vehicles. The Governor and lawmakers should not be faulted” he queried.