By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Calabar
Even though Governor Amaechi is just at the beginning of his second term in office he apparently has a view of his legacy at the end. One vow he has made is to handover a debt free treasury to his successor despite his recent recourse to debt options to sustain his works in progress.

One problem many new Governors are faced with is the high debt portfolio left behind by predecessors.

It is a phenomenon common to all three tiers of government. Although the debts which are usually in form of loans and bonds are always said to be used for the good of the people through the provision of infrastructure, it is common knowledge that most of the debts somehow can also be traced to the private accounts of many individuals who were once in government.

Rotimi Amaechi

Obvious of the problems new administration pass through on account of the debt overhang, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of River State has assured members of Rivers State House of Assembly and the people of the state that his administration will not leave any debt behind for the in-coming administration at the expiration of his administration come 2015.

Governor Amaechi gave the assurance at the opening ceremony of the three day retreat for members of the State House of Assembly on capacity building at the Tinapa Business Resort and Leisure, Calabar, Cross River State, also explained that the reason behind the recent loan of N200 billion the house approved to his administration was for the provision of infrastructural facilities to the people.

The governor said that no government that is conscious of development could survive without borrowing and justified his resort to borrowing by appealing to legislative houses in the country to willingly approve economic bills forwarded to it by the executive as such laws hold the key to infrastructure revolution.

Ameachi revealed that budgetary provisions for capital projects have over the years become inadequate to provide infrastructural facilities considering the increasing cost of governance hence his administration sought the approval of the state legislature to access loan facility for roads construction in the state.

Based on the economic law enacted by the State House of Assembly, the state government was authorized to obtain a loan of N200 billion but so far has been able to access N40 billion at 8 per cent interest rate with N5 billion of this repaid already.

The governor was emphatic that his administration will not leave any debt behind for his successors so that there will be no excuse that due to huge debt profile the government cannot provide quality services to the people.

Declaring the retreat open, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State said that governors in the South-South geopolitical zone under the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River Edo, Delta, BRACED, Commission, encourage one another in areas of development and commended organizers for bringing the retreat to Calabar which has comparative advantage in tourism.

“This retreat encourages peer review at the legislative level. We set up the BRACED commission to understand the economy of our zone and how to improve on it by encouraging the economic principle of comparative advantage. The six governors of the zone are today working closer and better”, he said. It has become a recurring decimal for successive administrations in the country especially at the state level to be reckless with the resources of the state.

The assurance given by governor Amaechi should be commendable, although that should not be excuse for him not to provide the immediate needs of the people. Posterity will always remember him if he should provide qualitative administration as well as leave behind a debt free state.

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