Experts kick against Ajimobi’s World Bank loan

Experts kick against Ajimobi’s World Bank loan

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Financial and investment analysts have frowned at the move by Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who has gone cap-in-hand to the World Bank, begging for assistance, as it struggles to meet its financial obligations.
Most of the experts told The Point that obtaining a loan from the global bank may relieve the government on the short term, but argued that the long term implication will have greater negative effect on both the government and residents of the state.
A financial consultant, Ms. Ayo Adeniji, explained that some of the theories used by state governments in Nigeria are propounded in the 1980s and the theories have failed, because the chief executives in the states have found it difficult to separate their passions from the reality on ground.
Stressing that there is the urgent need for the state to explore available economic and employment opportunities available to it, rather than relying on federal allocation or obtaining loan from World Bank, Ms Adeniji specifically, mentioned agriculture, which she said could generate more revenue for the state than what it gets from Abuja.
“It is an open secret that governance in Oyo State has been on auto-run as a result of the inability of the state to pay salaries, talk less of undertaking major (and minor) developmental projects. Without any doubts, things are really bad for the state, no matter how much the governor’s team attempts to make us believe things are calm,” Adeniji explained. President, Oyo State Council of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Olaitan Alabi, explained that it had warned the Ajimobi-led government to ensure an increase in its internal generated revenue and encourage agriculture as an alternative to its source of income, because this is the best time to pay greater attention to agriculture. “Workers will not be on strike if money is available in the state, but because we expect too much assistance from outside, that is why we are having so many problems. Part of the functions of OYCCIMA is advocacy. From time to time, we talk to government and submit papers to it on how to improve on its financial status. “It is one thing to give advice but it is another thing to heed it. If we have a situation where government cannot pay salaries because of the shortfall in federal allocation, it means that the state must be creative in its economic policy,” he stated.
He opined that the state does not have to rely on the North for food, because its land is arable for all kinds of crops and big enough to practice commercial agriculture.
“What we are saying is that onion, yam, pepper and other crops should be planted here. Our major problem presently is the issue of herdsmen attack on farmlands and our farmers. It’s a national problem, but we have made representation to Governor Ajimobi, and he is meeting farmers and the herdsmen on the issue. Things cannot continue like this,” said Alabi.
However, the World Bank was said to have committed about N13 billion to six projects in the state, including urban flood management programme, Ibadan master plan, health and agriculture.
Ajimobi had called for further cooperation and support of the institution in the renewed drive of the state to make agriculture the fulcrum of its economic revival agenda.
“I am impressed by the position of the World Bank on the need to work together with our state for service delivery. There is the need to add value to crop production as different from harvesting and exporting raw agricultural produce.
“We were initially unhappy with the low level of deliverables and slow response of the World Bank to our call for support during some moments of emergency, but we want to believe that this trend will change for better with this visit. We will appreciate an early response to our call for assistance during emergencies,” he said.
The governor also called the bank’s attention to the health, environment and education sectors, stressing that the state government had embarked on the training of teachers and provision of educational infrastructural facilities, flood management, and waste-to-wealth project for power generation.

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