KGSG gives reasons for wanting to take loan

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By Dada Ahmed in Lokoja

Kogi State Government says it ventures into the idea of borrowing extra 100 million dollars in order to fast-track the social economic development of the state.

The Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Idris said this while briefing journalists in Lokoja on Wednesday shortly after the State Executive Council meeting.

Idris also said there was no cause for alarm over the intended debt,assuring the pey that the state was buoyant enough to sustain its present and expected debts.

The commissioner said the state had paid a visit to the Senate, to defend its need for the 100 million dollars.

He added that when accessed, the loan would be channeled toward developing the Staple Crop Processing Zone, SCPZ in Alape, Kabba Bunu area of the state.

“The 100 million dollar, when accessed, will be used to build roads, construct electricity and other social amenities within the Alape Crop Processing Zone.

“This will in turn make the place and the state accessible to investors to come in and do agricultural businesses; a development that will generate income and employments for the state,”he said.

On weather the state can still borrow, Asiru said, “Yes, we can still borrow. The fiscal sustainability of the state give rooms for borrowing.”

If the state debt has not gone beyond 250 per cent of its income then it can still borrow. Kogi is presently on 147 per cent.

“Also, a state which is not using more than 40 per cent of its Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR) to service loan can still borrow.”

Kogi is presently using only 28 percent of its IGR to service loan. We still have a difference of 12 percent to borrow.

“We are not borrowing for consumption. We are borrowing to build capital projects. This is in line with the state governor’s fight against insecurity.”

Because if you don’t provide food security, then any fight against insecurity will be a mirage.”

The Commissioner also said the state government at the Executive meeting approved the creation of a new Department of International Cooperation to coordinate funds from World Bank, and other donor agencies .

He said all ministries had also been mandated to look inward and contribute to the economic development of the state in line with the fiscal discipline directive of the governor’s agenda.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, said the state government had directed the security apparatus to put in measures that would ensure security of life and property.

He said the governor’s directive was on the sideline of the recent crisis in Aku village of Ankpa Local Government Area that led to the death of three persons and burning of many houses over chieftaincy tussle.

“The state has put in a rapt security strategy which may not be revealed now, but is in place to stop any form of crisis.

“The state has also set up an empowerment programme for youths and women to address poverty in the state,”he said.

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