The Periscope reporters
* Adamawa stands at a crossroad, incapable of resolving cumulative debt of N152bn
* Heaps blames of the huge debts on past governments, lacking financial initiatives for revenue generation
* Commends Fintiri led government for holding on to the proposal of N100 billion Agribusiness bond
* Considers agribusiness as the only? means of sustainable and futuristic economic development in the state
* Identifies 33 markets across the state for upgrading, using part of the N100 billion agribusiness bond
* Notes that N100 billion agribusiness bond will generate N180 billion in the next 10 years.
It is said that Adamawa state government and the state legislature are agreed with the proposal packaged by a consultant with ARDP that for the state to be able to keep financially fit and be freed from the debt bondage, the state must borrow one hundred billion naira to be engaged in Agribusiness activities.
Joined by the opposition parties and the elites as stakeholders, the lone bold lawmaker with the state assembly, noted for being endowed with wealth of financial experience, Hon. Abdullahi Umar Yapak critically queried the proposal, pointing out that it would summarily result in reducing the state to a republic of debtors. (This takes another report)
The media cries, following the way and manner in which the seeming bogus proposal of N100 billion bond was surreptitiously smuggled into the state assembly, even when the staff of the house are on indefinite industrial action and how the media was barred from being witness to the plenary, have made both the executive and the legislature to give an inside, with a view to allaying the fears, arguing that the approval was to the effect of Agribusiness bond not loan as misunderstood, misinterpreted and misreported.
Critical thinking stakeholders, following the explanation, sensed diversionary tendencies aiming at the purpose of the N100 billion bond, which they would argue, as same as the loan – the interpretation initially rejected – because both the bond and the loan attract interest whether or not it is fixed.
Now, it is the time, ripe for the consultant to publicly present his proposal. This time, the media was invited.
A consultant with Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Aminu Buhari, has disclosed that Adamawa State must on annual basis, borrow between N20 billion to N25 billion to be able to sustain debt services and carry out capital projects.
The consultant made the disclosure during a one day workshop organised by ARDP to allay fears of the state’s latest move to secure N100 billion agribusiness bond.
According to the consultant, should the state continued to rely on federal government’s monthly allocation – based on crude oil proceeds – the trajectory of borrowing would be sustained without end.
The consultant explained, in financial terms that the state stood at a crossroad and incapable of resolving her current cumulative debt of N152 billion that she would have to rely solely on debt to finance her capital projects, noting that in most instances, she would have to restructure her debts, which would entail more burden on her people.
The consultant heaped blames, accusing previous governments of being passive in financial and strategic thinking, the consequence of which was the inability to enthrone viable revenue generation drive that has made the state remained in perpetual economic limbo and would linger on, unless something drastic was done.
The consultant has commended the Fintiri led administration for taking the gauntlet of pursuing alternative means of income generation through the agribusiness venture, which he considered as the only? means of sustainable and futuristic economic development in the state
The consultant observed that Adamawa is endowed with human, mineral and agricultural resources, which if harnessed would take the state out of the financial maze.
The consultant opined that in view of the shrinking revenue, narrow revenue base, poor market structures and the high tendency for liquidation, the state must fast track ways of generating fund, for her activities, noting that the informal sector neglected over the years must be fully explored.
According to the consultant, after due and diligent research, ARDP recommended the Adamawa agric support business as the most viable option for the state’s economic rejuvenation and emancipation.
The consultant argued out that if the programme is implemented, the state would have no reason to be poor or bankrupt as it would have solid and viable income for its activities.
The consultant added that to be able to tap from the surfeit opportunities in the state, the government must create the enabling environment for business to thrive vis-à-vis formalising and incentivizing markets to attract patronage.
The consultant said that the adoption of the above measures would open ways for government to generate significant revenue for the state.
The consultant revealed that already 33 markets were selected across the state for upgrading, noting that the activity would have the potentials of generating N180 billion in the next ten years.
The consultant explained that apart from job creation, upgraded markets would attract people from other states to Adamawa, noting that with the availability of credit guarantee, more activities would be generated, which would attract more taxation for an improved revenue drive