I’m compelled to put up this rejoinder in a bid to the ongoing effort by the Executive Governor of Taraba State Dr. Agbu Kefas to access some loan to the tune of N206, 776,000,000, from the commercial banks. One concerned citizen of the State, Mallam Abdulluhi Umar has petitioned the Acting Governor of central bank of Nigeria Mr. Folashdun Shounbi not to grant the loan to the Taraba state government. At the same time, he also urge the Acting CBN Governor to immediately instruct the effected commercial banks to suspend any consideration of granting the requested loan facilities. The petitioner noted that he was worried and concerned because the loan facilities being sought by the state Government were characterized by the brazen violations of subsisting laws of Nigeria guiding the process of the loan application by the various tiers of Government. Mallam Umar caution the relevant agencies to investigate the loan process.
Umar the petitioner writing through his Counsel, Parlance law office in Garki Abuja, in an 8 pages letter dated 9th August 2023, stated that he was bringing the information to the attention of the Acting CBN Governor for immediate investigation and to daunt all banks involved in the process. Copied in the petition were President Bola Ahmed Tiunbu, The Senate President, The Speaker of House of Representative, The Federal Ministry of Finance, other agencies copied are The Ministry of Justice, The Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit, EFCC Chairman and the NFIU among others.

The petitioner further alleged that the recent loan facilities requested by the state Government from the commercial banks was hasty, ill-conceived, a wasteful venture, that the loan is politically motivated to consolidate power of an embattled Governor, facing challenges to his petition in court, and an attempt by the Governor to put the State in a state of perpetual servitude of paying debts beyond its means and penury under the guise of embarking on purported developmental activities.
Ironically, this is uncalled- for, a laughable pathetic and antagonist from the petitioner, that is an enemy of the state. He should know that this is a new administration that just came on board and needed to fulfill all the campaign promises to the state to enable the new Government progress and achieve its tremendous project within and outside the state. It’s not business as usual, from the passed regime. This Government is committed with a lot of projects to execute in many areas, before his 100 days in office and they include tourism, transportation, health, Agriculture and Education among others to be mentioned. The loan facilities is needed to achieve some of the projects stipulated above to meet its goals and objective.
The Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas had on 2nd July 2023, written to the Taraba State House Assembly seeking approval to enable the state Government access loan facilities worth the sum of two hundred and six billon, seven hundred and seventy six thousand naira (206,776,000,000) only from four commercial banks he explained .
The letter was read by the speaker of the house, Honorable John Kirito Bonzena, on the floor of the parliament and subsequently, it was promptly approved by the state house of assembly. The petitioner claimed the move is hasty and ill-advised. The four commercial banks involved in the loan application and their respective loan amounts are as follows; Zenith Bank Plc (83,300,000,000.only) UBA Plc (50,000,000,000. only) Fidelity Bank Plc (50,000,000,000. Only) Keystone Bank Plc (23, 000, 000, 000. Only). In addition, the Governor stated that the security for the loan facility from Zenith Bank Plc shall be deducted from the FAAC allocation to Taraba State. While that for the facility from UBA Plc shall be deducted from JAAC belonging to the Taraba State. Furthermore, he stressed that the security loan facility from Fidelity Bank Plc shall be deducted from VAT accruable to Taraba State and finally, the security for the facility from Keystone Bank shall be deducted from Taraba State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
The Governor explained further, that the total rate of the facilities shall be 23% in total, comprising of 18% interest and 5% administrative charges deductible upfront, and the tenor of the listed facilities is four (4) years only. Meanwhile the petitioner in his words questioned that the loan facilities and its unfavorable conditions were yet to be fully disclosed to the state house assembly by the ministry of Finance, Budget and planning. The petitioner stress that the Governor has hotly contested the ongoing litigation at the Taraba Governorship election Tribunal that is yet to deliver its Judgment. Also, he said that the loan amounted can be easily diverted to other projects unconnected with what the loan was meant for since the position of the current Government is shaky and may be set aside by the court, His concerned was how would the Government repay the huge loans granted to the State?
The petitioner is an attention seeker that want to be recognize in a public domain, I could see his frustration, haven’t lost woefully to the People Democratic Party (PDP) with a wild margin, the petitioner is looking for all means to antagonize the present government not to achieved his campaign promise to the good people of the state is a bad omen. Mallam Umar, The Governorship election petition in court is dead on arrival that has no merit, the curtain has been drawn long time ago, the litigation is a baseless one, nothing good will come out of the petition. I would like to make clear that having litigations going on in a court of law has nothing to do with Governmental activities, Government is a continue process, with or without the loan Taraba would progress beyond expectations.
The Governor Kefas administration is determined to see Taraba state moving to the right directions in term of development. He was working tirelessly inviting foreign investors to come and invest in Taraba, the God given state that has a lot of natural resources to compete with the rest of the world to showcase Taraba state around the globe. Dr.Agbu Kefas the Executive Governor of the State in his wisdom carefully selected credible hands into his Government, among the credible hands is the Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Planning Dr. Mrs. Sarah Enoch Adi, A well trained and qualified personnel in Finance and Accounting. She is expected to bring on board her wealth of experience both home and abroad in making sure the ministry has a new face and equally improved in it working condition. Also, it is expected of her to guide the ministry from leakage and bring new innovation that would liberate the ministry to compete with other advance state around the world. In her quest, Dr. Sarah has kicked the ground rolling by providing adequate working environment in the ministry thereby assisting the Governor in various governmental engagements with the foreign investors. Also, helping out in guiding the State government to assess the loan facilities where among other task ahead of her ministry.
In conclusion, Taraba state has a lot of potentials that will salvage the state to its promised land. There is no amount of debts own by the state that cannot be repaid if properly managed. I would like to assured the petitioner that it’s not the right time to criticize the Government in anyway because this is a Government that has prospect. The petitioner should stop projecting the state to bad light. Let all sundry pray for the prosperity of the state and the success of the Executive Governor Dr. Kefas administration to succeed and move the state forward to the next level.

Audu Solomon Maiyaki
Concerned Citizen Wrote From
Jalingo, Taraba State.

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