The trouble brewing for the controversial Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, is not abating as he has received a stern warning from the Debt Management Office, (DMO) on the dangerous debt profile of the state.
The institution whose mission is to manage Nigeria’s debt as an asset for growth, development and poverty reduction reportedly issued the warning in a document linking Akpabio with careless expenditure of public funds.
The DMO intervention was hinged on the fact that the oil-rich Akwa Ibom State has continued to retain its number one position as the state with the highest allocation from the federal government, often receiving monthly allocations in excess of N30 billion (- an equivalent of allocations for five states in some regions of the country).
Ironically, the state is heavily indebted to many financial institutions, even as Akpabio has been on a spending spree since he became governor in 2007.
It would be recalled that the governor in May 2012 borrowed N50 billion from the United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc for the “execution of infrastructure development in the state”. And only last year also obtained another loan in the sum of N80 billion from Standard Chartered Bank International to be able to offset the UBA loan.
Lately, Akpabio, who is also the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, has been in the news for his seemingly extravagant spending of public funds for private and political purposes. He is notorious for giving out millions of naira as gifts to individuals and institutions in spite of the appalling level of poverty and underdevelopment in Akwa Ibom State.
The governor is derogatorily referred to as “Donatus” by the Nigerian public.
Last September, he donated N50million naira to the Nigerian movie industry, popularly referred to as Nollywood. He also presented two brand new Toyota Prado SUV as wedding gifts to Tuface Idibia while also sponsoring 43 guests (delegates) from Akwa-Ibom to attend the destination wedding in Dubai.
Top politicians in the country are also known to be feeding fat on Akpabio’s largesse and regular bribes running into billions of naira and meant to squash a subsisting court case against his governorship as he (Akpabio) is rumoured to be holding a stolen mandate.
Concerned Nigerians and critics of the Akpabio administration have deemed as wasteful and reckless his penchant for borrowing from banks even as civil society groups have also labelled Akpabio’s posturing as a crass display of insensitivity and needless extravagance.
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