Col. Umar Raises Alarm Over ‘Excessive Borrowing’ By Governors



Former Military Governor of Kaduna State,Colonel  Abubakar Dangiwa Umar  (rtd) has raised alarm over what he described as “an explosive scheme by which some state Governors are mortgaging the future of their states through excessive borrowing from commercial banks and other financial institutions to finance projects of dubious viability.”

Umar in a statement on Friday said,  though the motive behind such scheme was unclear ,“one suspects it is either to fraudulently acquire campaign funds as the 2015 elections approach or retirement benefits. Some of them are also desperately selling off state’s assets including shares and other long term investments.”

He   therefore  ,advised the  anti-corruption agencies to intervene in this unfolding scenario just as he warned banks to  stop conniving with the governors .

“We therefore appeal to the anti corruption agencies to intervene”,Umar said.The statement said further ,“We also warn banks to desist from connivance with those Governors. They need to be reminded of their civic responsibility and banking ethics to protect helpless public. They must be aware that most of these states have already lost the capacity to meet their financial obligations due to huge debt burden and diminishing source of revenue resulting from falling oil revenue.

He reminded bankers  not to forget events of the recent past . “The bankers must not forget that,  in the past, collapse of oil prices in the world market have often led  to widespread collapse of Nigerian banks because they  never learned to say ‘no’  to prodigal but cash-strapped state governments in such critical periods”,Umar said.

HOW SOME GOVERNORS ARE MORTGAGING THEIR STATES

It has become necessary to alert the nation of a dangerous, indeed an explosive scheme by which some state Governors are mortgaging the future of their states through excessive borrowing from commercial banks and other financial institutions to finance projects of dubious viability.

The motive is entirely unclear. But one suspects it is either to fraudulently acquire campaign funds as the 2015 elections approach or retirement benefits. Some of them are also desperately selling off state’s assets including shares and other long term investments.

In a situation where states’ legislatures have  reduced themselves to all but an arm of the executive, it is unrealistic to expect them to check and stop this fraud.

We therefore appeal to the anti corruption agencies to intervene. We also warn banks to desist from connivance with those Governors. They need to be reminded of their civic responsibility and banking ethics to protect helpless public. They must be aware that most of these states have already lost the capacity to meet their financial obligations due to huge debt burden and diminishing source of revenue resulting from falling oil revenue. The bankers must not forget that,  in the past, collapse of oil prices in the world market have often led  to widespread collapse of Nigerian banks because they  never learned to say ‘no’  to prodigal but cash-strapped state governments in such critical periods.

Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd)