By Emmanuel Aziken
Abujaâ€”The Imo Youth Forum has expressed concern over the viability of the N18.5 billion bondÂ recently floatedÂ byÂ the Imo state government, noting that it could further impoverish the state.
The group in a statement by its national chairman, Dr Chris Okeke,Â noted thatÂ governmentâ€™s decision to use part of the proceeds from the loan to construct a conference centre was contrary to global trends of government divesting from commercial business.
The forum said, â€œdespite the purported allurements of the bond package, it is a loan that attracts interests on a regular basis. That being the case, what the exercise has succeeded in doing is to further bloat the debt profile of the state. This goes with its own repercussions as it has the frightening prospects of mortgaging the future of our children.â€
â€œSecondly and more seriously, there is a fundamental error in the thinking that bonds are veritable instruments for funding social amenities that are provided at very subsidized rates to the ordinary people if not free.
The question which the government of Ohakim has to provide answer to Imo youths is, where does he hope to get the money to service the loan together with the high interest that goes with it?â€,Â the group queried, adding thatÂ the bond could be the greatest undoing of the present administration.