Comrade Usman Okai Austin has expressed fear that a $100 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the purpose of funding Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) in Kogi state may likely be diverted by the state governor, whose Presidential campaign is cash trapped.
So many interventions had come to the state in the past without any accountability. Prominent among them is the, first and second tranches of the over N50 billion London-Paris Club refunds to state as bailout fund budget support: and the sum of N10.069 billion for Kogi State Government for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government etc.
The activist lamented that, the state governor Yahaha Bello is at the ebb of his administration without any reasonable or provable project to show to justify the billions he has received, despite paying half salary to workers at state level, and percentage to the local government workers. He called on other citizens of the state not to keep quiet while Bello plunge the state into further debts- which is an automatic burden on the future government of state.
Borrowing is not the problem, but, diverting it is a problem he said. Since his declarint his ambition to be president in 2023, Bello has turned the state to an ATM for all manner of celebrities, with the intention of endorsing him as Buhari successor; and this is at the expenses of the state finance. You will recall that, the Kogi state government announced that it has secured a $100 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the purpose of funding Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) in Kogi.
This was disclosed in a statement by Commissioner for Finance, Mr Asiru Idris, in Lokoja on Tuesday.
The Commissioner added that the project will be a boost to improving production and employment in the state for 2 million people and also open the state up for private investments, citing that 280 hectares of land would be acquired in 5 local government for the scheme
“The project will create employment for two million people in the state and by extension, curb poverty, reduce youth restiveness and open doors for private investors,” he said.
He also added that the scheme would be beneficial for both farmers and processors which will also be an advantage for distributors in the state as transport costs will also be reduced.