By YSO Olaniyi
Following the Oyo State House of Assembly’s accelerated approval given to Governor Seyi Makinde‘s requests to raise fresh loans of N20billion and N2.5billion from the First Bank of Nigeria Plc and the Central Bank of Nigeria respectively, the Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has decried the actions of both the executives and legislative arms of the State. SPN believes that construction of roads and upgrading of health facilities can be funded without increasing the huge debt burden on the State.
The party said in approving more financial burden on Oyo State, the legislators have further shown that they do not have the interest of the Oyo State people at heart. With the latest approved loans, Makinde-led administration has now borrowed over N40 billion in less than one year.
A press statement signed by Oyo State Secretary of SPN, Com. Deji Adigun, said the new loans are third of such facilities to be accessed by Engr Seyi Makinde-led government in less than one year of its existence and the approval is more or less like mortgaging the future of the State especially when none of the loans previously obtained by both the past and the present governments in the State has ever translated into any improvement in the condition of workers and poor people in the State.
Part of the statement reads: “SPN acknowledges the commitment expressed by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government to fund both the reconstruction and rehabilitation of road infrastructure and the upgrading of health facilities across this State. This is welcome even though it is long overdue given the age long deplorable states of several numbers of roads and health facilities across the State”.
SPN also believes that if the public funds are genuinely invested on all priority projects highlighted by the Oyo Government, it will help to boost both the economic activities and social interaction across the State.
“However, if the fundamental motive behind all of the highlighted priority projects is to alleviate the suffering of the working but suffering people and not self-enrichment, we of the SPN strongly believe that the procurement of the loan facilities is needless and avoidable!”.
“The highlighted projects can be funded through public funds. This is actually possible, if the alleged security vote of 1billion naira the Governor award to himself is scrapped, all political office holders are placed on salaries and allowances of civil servants and a workers’ democratically controlled and well-equipped public works programme is used for all projects including roads, schools, hospitals etc instead of the fraudulent and costly contract system. The resources freed up from this approach is added to the pool of fund at the disposal of the State to be committed and invested on the areas of needs of the working people in the State”.
“As we always maintain, contract system has been one of the fraudulent means through which pro-capitalist politicians and business associates loot the public fund and throw the State into needless debt crisis. SPN equally holds that the democratic control of all of the resources and funds at the disposal of the State by an elected committee of workers and community people is very important so as to ensure that they are judiciously invested in areas of needs of the people”.
“Given the pro-capitalist and profit-first orientation and disposition of the Seyi Makinde-led government, we recognise that it will be difficult for the regime to follow this kind of programme. It is in the light of this that we of the SPN continue to insist that only a government of workers and the poor will be ready to break away from these ruinous capitalist policies that always seek to prioritize the interest of a few members of the billionaire class at the expense of the interest of the working people” the statement concluded.