Nasarawa State: Of N5bn Bond And The Rest Of Us

BY RAYYANU BALA
Nasarawa state House of Assembly penultimate week approved the request forwarded to it by the Governor A.A Sule led administration to secure a bond of five billion naira to enable government carry out some
infrastructural developments in the state. Though government did not
come out categorically to state the type, volume and where such
infrastructures would be sited, the state Assembly nonetheless
approved the request expressly, without any dissenting view from the honourable members. Indeed, this was not the first time the State Assembly is approving such a request from the state government. The previous administration of Umaru Tanko Al-makura put forward such a
request twice before the state Assembly. The first was during his
first tenure where the PDP dominated House of Assembly made an outrageous demand to the executive before such approval was granted.
Former governor Al-makura who viewed the demand as not only outrageous but unpatriotic, blatantly refused to play the ball the way they (State Assembly) wanted it. The refusal by Al-makura to play the game
as demanded by the State Assembly nearly caused him his office as
avalanche of allegations against him kept pouring in; culminating in the impeachment moves against him by the PDP dominated House of
Assembly. Since the impeachment move against Al-makura is not the
issue of discussion here, we leave it at that.
The second attempt by Al-makura to secure approval for collection of a bond was made during his second tenure but this time there was no any murmurings let alone impeachment move (The House approved and the bond
was secured). And this was made possible because the State Assembly was by then, under the control of the APC, the party which also control the executive. This approval given to A.A Sule for collection of bond brings the number of such requests to the State House of Assembly to three, namely, two approved and one rejected.
However, ‘bond’ from whatever definitions we decide to look at it, is not any different from ‘loan’. Many economic experts say the only difference is that bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond
issuer to the holder. In other words, bond is a fixed income
instrument that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower and the borrower can be corporate body or government. While loan is a
debt in which a lender will lend the money and a borrower will borrow the money. In a specific term therefore, both a bond and a loan represent one and the same thing, the major difference being in the semantics.
Yes, securing of a bond or loan to finance infrastructures is not bad; the problem is with the utilization. All countries of the world are indeed, not free from debts. America considered as the bastion of democracy and civilization with a strong economy, has trillions of
dollars hanging on its neck as loans obtained from various financial institutions. Nobody I believe will object to the collection of the bond of five billion naira by the A.A Sule led administration. What all patriotic citizens of the state will oppose is diversion of the
bond to something else; something far from the initial, original purpose which the bond is supposed to serve.
In this country, history is replete with instances where a loan was
obtained by government from financial institution with the aim of put it (the money) to the benefit of the people but ended up in private pockets of some individuals. These corrupt practices are common in
this country.
In this country we have so many former governors that are in court for corruption charges perpetuated while in office; we also have some former governors who are currently serving jail terms for no other
thing than corrupt practices when they held sway as governors of their respective states. Apart from former governors, there are also former
top government officials that are serving jail terms for corruption
and others are facing corruption charges at various courts across the country, the latest being that of erstwhile head of service of the federation, Mrs. Oyo-Ita.
Governor Sule to be honest, doesn’t belong to the set of people who are corrupt; people who take delight in diverting or rather converting people’s common patrimony to personal estate. From what is before the people of Nasarawa state, Engr. Sule is not the greedy type and many
have strong belief that unlike others, he is not avaricious to a level he can dip his hands into the coffers of government. From his antecedents, Engr. Sule has demonstrated in practical terms that he is a person who is always at home with contentment. At all the places he served before becoming governor, he came out without a stain or blemish.
Even as number one citizen, Engr Sule has, within this short period, demonstrated ample sincerity and contentment when he rejected outsrightly all attempts to convert and turn the occasion of his daughter’s recent wedding which is supposed to be a private affair, into a government function. Assuming Engr. Sule gave-in and allowed
the said wedding to become an official function, only God knows the amount that would have gone down the drain in the name of arrangements for the wedding. Thankfully, Gov. Sule rejected the idea. This singular act is a sign of good things to come our way in Nasarawa state.
On this note therefore, given Engr. Sule’s pedigree, I am convinced he will not allow any diversion, misappropriation or misapplication of the bond if finally his government secures it. And as he has aptly shown during the wedding of his daughter, it is equally the belief of all of us that the five billion naira bond will be channelled
appropriately.
Members of the State House of Assembly have done the right thing by approving the bond request and in record time. The only prayer now is that may the projects to be executed with the bond be of benefit to the people of the state.

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