Outstanding loans syndicated by previous Governors of Imo State, including Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim and most especially, Rochas Okorocha,  according to top Government House source have hit N107billion. 

The immediate past Governor, Rochas Okorocha also used the council areas and ISOPADEC funds/allocations to guarantee other loans and credit facilities, which interest and servicing are also different thus mortgaging the economy of the state. 

Our source reported that with the N107billion debt profile, Imo State has since exceeded the authority limit and could no longer draw any other credit facility from any commercial bank as stipulated and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). Unfortunately as, learnt, the Imo State Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Chuks Chukwuemeka who packaged the loan proposal, and ought to know better could not advise the governor properly, hence his suicidal move to secure another loan.

As a result, the recent approval by the Imo State House of Assembly for the Governor to borrow the sum of N5 billion to purchase vehicles for political appointees and permanent secretaries has become time barred.

An unimpressed and furious Governor Hope Uzodinma is said to have accused the Commissioner of Finance, Chukwuemeka, of deceiving him into taking the wrong decision, as it concerns the N5billion loan for the purchase of vehicles for political appointees and principal officers of MDAs in the state. 

The governor, may have asked the Finance Commissioner to repackage the loan request to reflect the new realities with states statutory monthly allocations and those the 27 LGAs and ISOPADEC funds as guarantees or collaterals. 

It was also learnt that members of the state House of Assembly with Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins presiding as Speaker, may not be disposed to approving any such fiscal request for the governor, immediately. This is because of their grouse and compliant that the governor recently cancelled a monthly payment usually made to them from the council allocations.

Some members of the House, particularly among the opposition are querying the rational in sending a request to borrow N5billion from the banks just to purchase vehicles for his aides owing to the fact that the governor did not even intimate them of the N2billion released to each state governor by President Buhari for the COVID-19 pandemic as recently revealed by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi. 

Added to the N2billion which the governor himself announced and acknowledged as being saved monthly from ghost workers and pensions of ghost pensioners, or a total of N4billion, members of Imo State House of Assembly are not prepared to spoon feed the governor further unless perhaps he shows proofs that the money would be part of the 2021 annual appropriation estimates expected for presentation before the house, shortly, and must be prudently applied while their take home package from the various LGA are restored.