Imo State chapter of the The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the federal government to invoke its powers in line with the provisions of Section 47 (3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act to stop the state governor Hope Uzodimma from destroying Imo State with an unsustainable debt portfolio.
The party said it is greatly pained by the spike in Imo’s debt profile, and stated in clear terms that the administration of Uzodimma has mortgaged the future of unborn generations with unpayable debt stock, while also allegedly elevating treasury looting to the status of state policy.
PDP in a statement signed by the state publicity secretary, Hon. Collins Opurozor highlighted that with a debt profile of N220 billion, “Imo today has the highest Debt-to-GDP ratio in Nigeria.”
The party said the move was to alert the citizenry and all Nigerians of what it called grand plot by governor Uzodimma to borrow as much as possible and plunge Imo into debt slavery, so as to flee Nigeria with enough loots upon his imminent defeat at the governorship polls in November this year.
The statement reads, “It is on record that the widely-rejected administration of Senator Uzodimma has already gotten the malleable House of Assembly to pass a bogus budget which contains nothing but a very sinister plan to borrow, just in 2023, the sum of N354 billion.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the entire receipts from FAAC to Imo State for the year 2023 would be in the region of N70 billion. The 13% Derivation Fund would total about N9.6 billion. The State’s IGR would be N13 billion. And other interventions and grants, including UBEC, would be N28 billion. That brings the total income of the State for the year to about N120.6 billion. Yet, Senator Uzodimma has planned to fritter away the sum N475 billion within the year. The deficit, which is N354 billion, would be raised through borrowings.
“Still unsatisfied with that amount, Senator Uzodimma has again sent a supplementary budget of N118 billion to the parliament. This will also be financed through loans and squandered as usual. This shows Senator Uzodimma has already perfected plans to leave behind a cumulative debt burden of over N700 billion. It will take more than ten generations to clear this mess, which the unelected regime has created in just three years.
“It is curious that in all of the landmark borrowings by Senator Uzodimma, no effort has been made to redraw the industrial landscape of the State by re-jigging investments in the hugely vital agro-industrial sector where Imo has major comparative advantage. Adapalm has remained moribund, Imo Rubber Estates and Avutu Poultry Farm have remained comatose.
“Equally, Nsu Tiles Company, Umuna Bricks Factory, Egbema Power Plant and Inyishi Aluminium Extrusion Plant are some key investments with the capacity to rev-up the local economy and employ a vast majority of the teeming unemployed Imo youths. Yet, they have been left to rot away, even when Imo under this anti-people regime of Senator Uzodimma has been officially designated by the NBS as the unemployment capital of Nigeria.”
Reacting, through his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, the government said PDP only specialises in distracting a focused administration.
According to Emelumba, they are working tirelessly in bringing dividends of democracy to the people.
He claimed that the PDP takes pride in frivolous allegations aimed at instigating the people against the government.
Hon. Emelumba said that the current insinuation in respect of loan is the figment of imagination of Imo PDP.
He stated that where such facilities are accessed in the past, they were judiciously utilized in providing infrastructure.