By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
It seemed a rumour. It sounded speculative. Yet, rumour and speculation share a lot in common with fiction. As we were thought, and as we teach in literature, to every fiction, there’s a fact. In every nonsense, there’s a sense. Hence, in every rumour and speculation, there’s some elements of truth in existence or to be in existence at an appointed future time. No smoke without fire!
The difference is made by patient observation and study of the rumoured or speculated act, action and activity. By careful search and research, the truth can always be unravelled. He that asks questions doesn’t miss his way. So say Ndigbo!
The news breezing around in the grapevine currently is that Imo Chief Driver, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has taken or is at the verge of taking another whopping N20 billion loan, that he crafted as “bond loan”!
If the N20 billion bond loan is taken, then Uzodimma would have borrowed over N50 billion since his assumption of office, courtesy of the Supreme Court!
A bond loan is a loan in which the interest is high and the repayment period is stretched and extended to many years ahead. That’s why pundits regard bond loans as a mortgaging or hardship of the future.
Our checks have proved that since the past three months or thereabouts, Uzodimma has been feverishly seeking a financial institution that can give him a humongous N20 billion bond loan.
We found out that at least four banks rejected Uzodimma’s application and refused to give him the loan. But along the lines, a bank said to be a pro-Ndigbo bank accepted the application and has been negotiating with Uzodimma on the nitty-gritty of the incredible N20 billion bond loan.
The story is that the bank has given Uzodimma the loan or is looking set to give him the loan but, for consideration of the unimpressive financial profile of Imo State, the bank is being extremely careful.
However, we think that for two major reasons that bank should be very extremely careful about giving Uzodimma the bond loan of N20 billion.
First is the consideration of the decreasing, dwindling and diminishing economy and economic fortunes of Imo State since January 2020 when the Supreme Court made Uzodimma governor till date. The bank is reported to have put that into consideration.
Second is the fact that no matter how it’s looked at, a N20 billion bond loan will be an unfair burden on the coming generation of Imo people.
We read what was written by a faceless group that introduced itself as “Imo Future Hopes Vanguard” and we sympathize with their lamentation that by taking the N20 billion bond loan, Uzodimma was mortgaging the future of Imo youths and enslaving them upfront.
Importantly, Uzodimma has nothing on ground to account for all the total revenue, estimated at over N200 billion; of course, including all the loans. Uzodimma doesn’t pay salaries and pensions. Even poor road sweepers in the State capital haven’t been paid by Uzodimma since January 2020. They resorted to peaceful public protest recently.
We designed this short essay to provide Uzodimma our usual pro bono constructive criticism and urge him to consider shelving the idea of taking the loan.
Uzodimma should rather put on his thinking cap and work out plausible ways of generating revenue for the working and running of Imo State. Endless borrowing is never a good option for economic development.
Uzodimma should be less opulent and affluent in his private, public and political life. We heard that Uzodimma has become the lifewire of APC National. He should be more frugal and less proligate and extravagant in his social life.
He should, in the contrary, harness the huge economic potentials in the State and transform them into revenue generators for Imo State and Imo people. He who goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing! He should be properly guided!
By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!!
Note: Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A is the Publicity Secretary of the Imo State PDP