Monday, 23 November 2015

N7B Loan: Boroffice Fires Back At Mimiko, Warns Zenith Bank

Professor Ajayi Boroffice, the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District has fired back at Governor Olusegun Mimiko for his defence of the N7Billion loan proposal to Zenith Bank PLC.

In a statement by Kayode Adeniyi, his media officer, Boroffice dubbed Mimikop’s defence as lame and witless.

Boroffice, said it was amateurish and awkward that the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration has lowered the debate on ‎the N7 billion bank loan to the argument that since some states had borrowed, why should Ondo state not borrow, Vanguard reports.

The statement read: “It is amateurish and awkward that the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration has lowered the debate on ‎the N7 billion bank loan to crass politics and puerile argument; that since some states have borrowed, why should Ondo state not borrow? Is the government saying it requested for N7 billion loan from Zenith Bank on the ground that World Bank has granted credit facilities to Lagos and Edo states. The witless argument from the government further shows there exist no developmental plan for which the loan was sought after.

“Really, ‎there is nothing hypocritical or ignorant about a warning inspired by patriotism against mortgaging the future of our children under the guise of seeking loan to fund infrastructural deficit. However, It is rather preposterous that a government renowned for limitless deceit thinks it can preach on honesty.

“On the issue of Lagos and Edo states: it is quite clear that while World Bank granted Lagos and Edo states long-term, low interest rate development policy operation credit facilities, our dear Ondo state is seeking N7 billion loan at an unduly high and exorbitant interest rate from a commercial bank.

“It is on record that World Bank has strict borrowing conditions with strong emphasis on transparency, accountability, strong financial management information system for budget management, high financial accountability through timely audits and publication of state government’s audited financial accounts. In truth, same conditions cannot be said of the controversial N7bn loan request. When last did the Mimiko-led administration audit government spendings and present its audited financial accounts to the people of Ondo state for public scrutiny? Not once in 7 years.

“The undoing of the Mimiko-led administration is that it is exhibiting severe disillusionment as well as demonstrating retiring soporific with its indolent belief that no developmental project could be executed without recourse to borrowing. Senator Boroffice does not agree with this absurdity.

“Furthermore, the issue of N7 billion is coming at the same time the Mimiko-led administration declared that paucity of funds is delaying local government polls after feeding fat on local government allocations for about 7 years. Is it true that the N7 billion loan is designed to enhance the rigging machinery of the sinking PDP in Ondo state?

“Senator Ajayi Boroffice remains committed to the genuine development of Ondo state and her people. It is the administration that has thrown Ondo state into senseless debt of about N77 billion, yet untiring, and seeking to borrow more that is consciously working ‎to ground Ondo state for the next administration. ‎The Mimiko-led administration should address the people of Ondo state on the debt profile of Ondo state ‎and leave the people to figure out their true enemy.

“On reiterating note, although government is continuum, the incoming APC government in Ondo state will not be committed to the repayment plan of any dubious loan granted by Zenith Bank PLC or any other commercial bank at the detriment of the people of Ondo state.”

According to Boroffice, granting such loan few months to the expiration of the tenure of Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s does not make economic sense.

Boroffice had earlier warned Zenith Bank in a statement released on Sunday, November 15, saying that the bank should be guided on the risk involved in granting such a loan at this time, and urged it to reject the said loan.

Boroffice said: “The management of Zenith Bank PLC is advised to learn and be guided to reject the loan request having realized the high degree of risk attached.”

But in a swift response, commissioner of information, Kayode Akinmade, described the senator’s statement as a show of hypocrisy and sheer ignorance.

Akinmade said: “Lagos is the most indebted state in the country. Why has Boroffice not spoken against Lagos State’s borrowings? Both Lagos and Edo states have just put loan proposals of $200m and $75m respectively to the Federal Government and the senator has not found his voice to caution these states.

“Leaders should think before they open their mouths to criticise and criticisms should be based on objectivity and honesty. There cannot be two rules; if APC governments at the state level are obtaining loans, what stops PDP governments? Boroffice is an enemy of the state. He wants Ondo to be grounded.”