The huge pile of debts which the immediate past Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan administration plunged Delta State into before he left office May 29, 2015 was explicitly articulated and truthfully made known to millions of Deltans by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in his address to members of the Delta State House of Assembly. Hence, the Poet and Statesman H.L. MENCKEN (1880-1956) posited that “The smallest atom of truth represents some man’s bitter toil and agony; for every ponderable chunk of it there is a brave truth – seeker’s grave upon some lonely ash-dung and a soul roasting in hell”.
Governor Okowa must be commended for his Spartan courage and unblemished candour in telling Deltans the true state of our financial position that he met on ground without any streak of descartian tergiversation and pusillanimous skullduggery.
In his submission and speech that was entitled “MY VISION FOR HONEST LEADERSHIP AND RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT,” Governor Okowa revealed that in the light of our current economic predicament we must display the sacrifice, simplicity, frugality and discipline expected of every Deltan.
He stated that the revenue receipts from Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has dipped significantly, dropping to just N8.03 billion in April from a high of N20 billion in previous years. That the state is grappling with a revenue Bond and indebtedness to the tune of N98.62 billion (Principal sum) while outstanding contractual obligations stood at N538, 601, 962, 421.50.
In 2011, the state Government took a N50 billion facility from the bond market, with a repayment period of seven years in 84 installments at N1.098 billion each month. This facility will terminate in September 2018 with 40 more installments (totaling N43.92 million) to pay with effect from June 2015.
As it stands today, a total monthly deduction of N4.60 billion will be made from Delta State’s FAAC receipts with effect from the past June through to March 2017 and thereafter N1.098 billion monthly until September 2018. This leaves the state with N3.4 billion if FAAC receipts stands at N8.03 billion and barring cost of collection, the Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) of the State stands at N2.0 billion monthly. This implies that the total fiscal left over to all- embracingly run the affairs of Delta State is only N5.4 billion which is insufficient for monthly wages.
Without slips of prolixity, it is unambiguously clear from Governor Okowa’s submissions that Delta State and it’s finances are straddling between Scylla and Charybdis. But we must do an implosive surgeonization and backward integration to enable us get a true picture of what led to this outrageously impecunious situation.
Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan came into office in 2007 and through conservative estimates received N20billion per month which sums up to N240billion per year and for 8 years of his tenure received a total sum of N1,820,000,000,000. This is exclusive of Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) etc. What did Uduaghan do with these colossal sums of money? Why did Uduaghan delve into the labyrinth and stupor of debtorship? Why did he pledge and use Delta State’s facilities as collaterals for loans collected by contractors? These questions and more that are consequent upon and sequel to Uduaghan’s economic cannibalization of Delta State’s finances (UDUAGHANOMICS) must be answered by our most revered immediate past Executive Governor Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan.
The great sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo observed that “peace is a positive state of quiet, tranquility, and social harmony. Negatively, it means the absence not only of war, but also of large-scale violence and rioting, as well as of extensive and ever-recurrent industrial strife, and such like social unrest” and the political gargantuan and satyagraha Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe posited that “the trees of liberty must be watered by the blood of tyrants” and our own Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr said that “there cannot be peace without justice”.
We call on our amiable, ebullient and dynamic young Governor Okowa, EFCC, ICPC and totality of Deltans to leave no stone unturned to ensure that justice is done to the toiling masses of Delta State whose existential balances and equilibrium have been drowned in the cesspit of gross underdevelopment precipitated by crass malfeasance, psychotic corruption, Machiavellian buffoonery, ethnocentric jingoism and trickery. We want peace through justice in Delta State which has told us with unequivocal clarity that the time of belt tightening and management of impecuniosities has dawned on us, Deltans.
Finally, we call on the powers that be and our leaders to note the admonition of Robert Bruton (1577-1640) in his book Anatomy of Melancholy that “Conquer thyself. Till thou hast done this, thou art but a slave for it is almost as well to be subjected to another’s appetite as to thine own” and this corroborated by Aristotle (384-322 .B.C) “I count him brave who overcomes hid desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.” I hope our leaders past, present and future will understand that leadership entails the best virtues, ethical architectonics and the chemistry of moral submission. God bless Delta State and nay Nigeria as we wait patiently for Uduaghan to tell us why he did what he did.
CHIEF GBINIJE is of MANDATE AGAINST POVERTY, MAP, WARRI