N130B Loan: RSG Lied

Explanations aimed at addressing and allaying fears in citizens and
residents of Rivers State on government’s move to borrow N30billion
from Zenith Bank and secure N100billion long term bond from the
capital market can only mean that the State government leaps before
it looks.

Reacting to the position of the State information commissioner, Mrs.
Ibim Semenitari on the loan deal which has attracted wide
condemnation and painted the State government in bad light, the
publicity secretary of the parallel State Peoples Democratic Party,
(PDP) in Rivers, described the explanation as a frantic effort to tinker
the dent government has inflicted on itself.

In the words of Jerry Needam, “my ears tingled as the information
boss in the State attempted to divorce government from the loan. I
wondered what huge and expensive joke it was for Gov. Rotimi
Amaechi to mute the idea and swiftly overrun the State assembly for
approval if he was only toying with the idea or was merely being
advised to consider the outrageous loan.”

He chided the image maker of Amaechi administration for attempting
to play on the sensibility of the people of the State, and described her
defense of government position as an expensive risk to take. Jerry
Needam said Mrs. Semenitari would have been better appreciated if
she had come out with government apologies to the State rather than
the attempt to explain or justify the move which already has deeply
hurt Rivers people.

Jerry Needam wondered why the State governor, according to Mrs.
Semenitari, would be conselled to visit the capital market only for him
to sway lawmakers in the State to approve his request to that effect
without a single debate to subject the suggestion to a test of
popularity among cross-sections of the society.

According to him, the alacrity with which they okayed the request
showed it was a forgone conclusion solidly contrived and to be
implemented without hesitation, even when no specific projects were
tied to it.

He argued that Gov. Amaechi would have first considered what to use
the loan approval for unspecified “development” request the same
time as he was seeking a N130 billion short term loan for projects he,
more appropriately, listed.

There are further arguments in several quarters that the governor
and his henchmen did not give proper thought and consideration to
the loan before going public, with many observers condemning the
approval and timing of the loan deals, Jerry Needam revealed.

To Jerry Needam, the loans are a strange demand at a time when the
governor has just signed an obnoxious and ontrightly rejected social
services contributory bill into law, even while telling the whole world of
the buoyancy of his treasury and claiming to have been saving
N1billion every month for the State since assumption of office.

He advised the commissioner to chew and sleep upon her
assignments before embarking upon them as she occupies a very
sensitive office which has capacity to easily make anyone who steps
into it, mar him.

Mrs. Semenitari had denied on air that the Amaech’s administration
had gone for a loan of N130 billion short and long term, saying
government had only considered the possibility should the need
arises, even though it has got the needed approval from the State
house of assembly.

The approval obtained from the state assembly and the manner in
which it was obtained pitched the entire State against government
and it’s lawmakers, and could be executed at any time of the governor’
s choice without hinderance, Mrs. Semenitari ‘s denial notwithstanding.

African Examiner.

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