By Abdulmumin Giwa
Even as the Kaduna state Governor Nasiu Elrufai was in the same political party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), with Senator Shehu Sani during the first tenure, it was not as easy for him accessing loans requiring the approval of the Senate.
This is because Senator Sani was in charge getting such loan approved for the state at that time and had the Kaduna people at heart. Mindful of the effects of loans on the people of the state, Sen Sani refused to succumb despite propaganda and insults by the state governor and his superiority complex.
Now that the governor has gotten access to the loans, Kaduna state has accrued debt liabilities that have placed the state in danger by becoming second only to Lagos state as far as debt burden is concerned. Lagos is not a case actually considering its revenue sources.
The Kaduna state government has a debt burden to the tune of $559.5 million, which is equivalent to N279.75 billion at an exchange rate of N500 per Dollar as at June 30, 2021.
This information was made public by the Debt Management Office (DMO), which reveals the loans gotten by state governments in Nigeria from China, India and other sources totalling N1.8 trillion debt burden on those states in Nigeria.
Kaduna state is only second to Lagos which has $1.8 billion but with visible sources of payment when compared to Kaduna state.
The debt acquisition is one of the things that has led to down sizing of workers in the state and rendering thousands into severe poverty.
Now the APC government has made things worse for the people through reckless debts, funds mismanagement and corrupt policies in the name of the people.
In a state of insecurity and extreme institutionalized poverty nourished with reckless debts, inflation and poor services, definitely the people of Kaduna state and indeed Nigeria need another option.
They need an option that can invest in human lives and sustain their welfare. They don’t need leaders that use the creation of infrastructure to enrich their pockets to the detriment of human lives.
It definitely does not say well about Nigeria in this century for companies to be running away from the country due to lack of electricity. This has killed industrialization and employment in the country and also enhanced poverty.
Where is the development when imported goods are cheaper than the same goods produced in the country simply because there is no power? Of what value are infrastructure to the people who are jobless, sick, hungry and don’t have access to good education?
Definitely, it does not make sense for anyone to tell Nigerians not to opt out of the menace perpetrated by those in authority mismanaging the resources and impoverishing the populace.
Senator Shehu Sani who has been tested and trusted by the people as having them at heart cannot be blackmailed by the state unless if the state wants to prove to the public that its interest is to destroy the lives and welfare of the people as well as those who care for them.
Definitely is good to have infrastructure but not at the extent of the lives and welfare of the people.
Hence, the big question, in what ways have these loans that have been accrued by the Kaduna state government impacted on the lives and welfare of the people of the state? Certainly not with the infrastructure whose direct beneficiaries are the contractors the politicians in power and certainly not by improving services which are not seen by the public in most sectors, including power, health, education and the rest.
Certainly, this has only worsen the life of the people by making it more difficult and expensive for them, a situation that has encouraged insecurity with all its arms of banditry, kidnapping and other delinquencies by the teaming unemployed youths in town. Life has become more miserable as a result.
It is now clear that the foresight of Senator Shehu Sani for refusing to go by the extreme capitalist ideals of the Kaduna state governor when he was at the Senate is worthy of praises for indeed we clearly see it today. The choice is now yours.