I T is so unfortunate that many state governors just seek for loans without considering the impact of such on the citizens and future generations. I am forced to react because it has been reported that the Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, had got the approval of the House of Assembly to borrow another N9billion from a bank, thus taking the total loan borrowings in the last one year since the governor assumed the leadership of the state to N81billion.
While it can be said that most of the governors channel the request for loans through the House of Assembly, we should not forget that these legislators are just puppets in the hand of their state executives.
I think it is high time the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stepped into the request for loans by state governors. Such requests must be approved by the apex bank, as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance before they can be taken.
Most of our governors heap unnecessary loan burden on their states due to their inability to drive a robust internally generated revenue (IGR) scheme.
Most states today can easily generate more than they earn from the Federal Government if the governors are creative enough. They have no reason to be asking for loans all over the place. I, therefore, want the CBN to start penalising banks that give out loans to state governments without properly informing it.
Governors should spare their citizens future pain due to their reckless request for loans; if they cannot manage the little they are generating as IGR, coupled with what they are earning from the Federation Account, then it will be better if they resign their appointments, as there is no compulsion in public service.
Governors should be able to generate ideas to increase their revenue base, and it mustn’t be through tax all the time.
Nothing stops states from running profitable agricultural enterprises, among other businesses.
- Tuope Henry,