Objection raised as newly sworn in Governor requests to obtain N15 billion loan
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Plateau has kicked against Gov. Caleb Mutfwang’s request to the State House of Assembly for an approval to acquire a N15 billion loan.
Mutfwang’s communication was read by the assembly Speaker, Moses Sule, during Thursday’s plenary, which was the first sitting of the 10th Assembly.
Mutfwang explained that the loan would be used to clear backlog of civil servants salary arrears and acquire farm inputs for farmers.
The approval was granted by the lawmakers at the plenary.
But the APC in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Sylvanus Namang, said that as a critical stakeholder in the Plateau project, they seriously objected to the loan because the governor did not follow due process.
Namang said that PDP’s two-third majority in the Plateau State House of Assembly was not a licence for recklessness and arbitrariness which if left unchecked, Plateau would be worse for more turbulent days ahead.
According to him, the reasons advanced for the loan were as unconvincing as they were not tenable.
“Government is a continuum and the past dispensation had made adequate budgetary provisions for payment of workers’ salaries and very essential products like fertilisers, given the fact that Plateau was largely an agrarian state.
“This bogus N15 billion loan approval is particularly more worrisome because for a loan to be collected, certain steps are clearly spelt out in the Plateau State Debt Management Law.
“The steps must be duly and deligently followed before any financial institution, local or foreign can consider.
“First, the State Debt Management Advisory Committee must sit to discuss the purpose and necessity of the loan for the state.
“Furthermore, Plateau cannot operate as if we are under a military junta where things are done by fiat.
“For a serious issue as loan acquisition of this magnitude, the State Executive Council must approve such loan before forwarding to the House of Assembly for deliberation,” he pointed out.
He further said that the council’s approval must be transmitted to the House of Assembly for their discussion and approval which cannot be passed as was done at its very first formal sitting as members of the 10th House of Assembly.
He added that mandatorily, such approvals by the State Executive Council and the House of Assembly would then be forwarded to ministry of finance and debt management department to further process.
Namang stated that to the best of their knowledge, there was no state executive council as what is on ground is the governor, his deputy and the attorney general and that the debt advisory committee was also not constituted. (NAN)