Human rights group, Concerned Nigerians for the Protection of Human rights and Rule of Law Initiative, has enjoined the Nigerian Government and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to block the loan request by Governor Hope Uzodinma-led government in Imo State.
The group in a statement by its Convener, Deji Adeyanju, said Governor Uzodinma had taken too many loans under the pretext of paying local government workers and pensioners which he never did.
The statement reads, "Recall that the Imo State Government led by Governor Hope Uzodimma had in the past embarked on a borrowing spree without any tangible project to show for.
"In 2021 alone, the Imo State House of Assembly granted Uzodinma’s administration the approval to borrow N8.9billion from Fidelity Bank and other numerous of such requests for undisclosed reasons, which sparked enormous criticism from sections of Imo people. Till date, it is important to note that the governor is yet to account for the borrowed monies.
"This was barely three months after the state's House of Assembly also approved the request of the Uzodinma administration to borrow N7.5billion to purchase vehicles for public officers, even as the government owes civil servants and pensioners arrears in excess of eight months.
"Also, in the year 2020, the Imo State Government announced that it had commenced discussion with the Central Bank of Nigeria for a loan of N52billion to be channelled into Adapalm plantation. Currently, Imo State’s debt profile is over N100billion.
"We have also been reliably informed that the Uzodinma government is planning on borrowing an additional loan of N15billion from Zenith Bank for payment of salaries, gratuities and pension of local government workers. The plan is to take N256million in each of the state's 27 local government names. This is going to be the 6th of such unaccounted loan requests since he became governor.
"We condemn this move and enjoin the Federal Government and the EFCC to halt this reckless loan acquisition by the government of Imo State."
Speaking further, Adeyanju called on Governor Uzodinma to devise creative and innovative ways of improving the internally generated revenue of the state and living standards of the Imo people.