Omo-Agege insists Okowa took N150 billion loan
Despite spirited efforts by the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to debunk allegations that he took N150 billion loan, the Senate Deputy President, Ovie Omo-Agege, yesterday, joined the ranks of those accusing Okowa of obtaining the facility from a bank.
Omo-Agege, who spoke through his Executive Assistant, Mr. Aruviere Martin Egharhevwa, in Asaba, said the governor wondered why the governor took the loan hastily in anticipation of “petroleum subsidy payment/refund.”
He asked: “Are they not wetting the ground for the next administration to contend with huge debts unnecessarily? Knowing that the repayment funds may not even crystalise till maybe 2027/2028, why is the regime doing this? As suggested by some commentators, is the N150 billion a 2023 ‘election war chest’? If true, we can only advise a rethink because it will fail with serious consequences.
“While we recognise that borrowing is sometimes necessary in public finance management, especially in relation to mega infrastructure development, we also believe such borrowing must be responsible, and not recklessly propelled by corruption and private interests. It should not be all about sinking many generations into intractable debts in the hope of achieving impossible electoral postulations.
“Without question, the N150 billion loan approved by the House of Assembly is an escalation of a very corrupt pattern of reckless borrowing by the Okowa administration to fund mystery projects or what Deltans now generally refer to as ‘audio’ or invisible projects.”
But some Deltans, under the aegies of Deltan Lives Matter, said the governor should be allowed to obtain the loan and make judicious use of it for the betterment of the state.
The coordinator of the body, led by Christian Moses Abeh, appealed to Okowa opponents to “stop playing politics with everything”, saying the “money is for the interest of the state”.
Abeh said: “The government will be prudent in using it to fund projects across the state to better the living standard of the people and pay pensioners.”