The Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District of the National Assembly, Professor Ajayi Boroffice warned the financial institution, Zenith Bank PLC, against granting the loan of N7 billion to the embattled government of Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
Mr. Boroffice made the warning in a statement issued and obtained by SaharaReporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The Ondo State Senator questioned the rationale behind the approval of the loan by the “rubber stamp members” of the State House of Assembly.
He also questioned the judgement of the management of Zenith Bank PLC, and suggested that Zenith Bank follows in the footsteps of Access Bank PLC by rejecting the loan due to the high degree of risk attached to it.
Senator Boroffice warned that if Zenith Bank decided to provide the “dubious loan” this action will, "undoubtedly confirm the widely held opinion in Ondo State that the bank has successfully been co-opted into the grand conspiracy to defraud the people of Ondo State."
The senator also noted that the loan is unpopular amongst the public, because the people of Ondo State were not consulted prior to the unilateral decision by lawmakers to approve the loan. Mr. Boroffice, himself a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), accused the State House of Assembly of, “trading the collective interests of our people on the altar of party loyalty to the retrogressive Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the government it runs in Ondo State".
Mr. Boroffice also expressed concern with the “continuous borrowing” of Governor Mimiko’s administration. He questioned how the funds from previous loans had been spent, given the few infrastructure projects completed in Ondo State over the past 7 years. He then launched into an attack upon Governor Mimiko’s financial administration of the State, specifically he noted the government’s inability to pay State workers’ salaries despite a N14 billion bailout by the Federal Government.
He continued noting that, "Ondo State is presently faced with grevious financial challenges like the cash-flow insolvency, a poor internally generated revenue, a low state sustainability index, a huge debt burden of over N77 billion, and a failure to meet basic financial obligations.”
The Senator concluded by inquiring how the massive loan would be paid back should the plan of repayment continue after Governor Mimiko’s tenure ends. He warned that if the plan of repayment exceeded the current governor’s term, an APC-led government in Ondo State would not be obligated to pay back the bank in full.