Wike, ALGON Disagree Over Right to Borrow

WikeReacting to a directive that any local government or agencies intending to obtain loans from banks should inform the state government, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON,has declared that the consent of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike was not needed for local governments to obtain loans from financial institutions.

The association also insisted that the Governor has no power to sack its members. The state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP, has also hinted that Governor Wike will soon sack all the 22 council chairmen and their councilors.

Chimbiko Akarolo, Rivers State ALGON chairman, said in Port Harcourt that “if any local government area in the state needs loan and meets the conditions stipulated in law, it will go ahead as there is no law in Nigeria that explicitly say a governor’s consent is required for loans to be obtained or granted.”

Governor Wike had last week issued a directive that any local government area chairman and government agencies intending to obtain loan from any financial institution should formally write to him.

Meanwhile, Akarolo has reminded all concerned in the matter about existing rules guiding how local governments can obtain loans. “This procedure does not require any chairman to seek the consent of the state governor. If you go through Rivers State Fiscal Responsibility Law 2010, Part 9, Section 39, it states clearly that agencies of government desirous of borrowing shall specify the purpose for which the borrowing is intended and present a cost benefit analysis detailing the economic and social benefits of the purpose which it intended to borrow…Even the Responsibility Act of this country also states that if you meet the conditions you don’t need the written consent of the governor of the state,” he said.

Akarolo also faulted the decision of the House of Assembly to invite Commissioners of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, to appear before it on Monday to explain the details of the just concluded council elections.

ALGON considered the invitation as part of conspiracy to dissolve the newly elected council chairmen and councillors. Akarolo insisted that the governor and the House lack the power to sack duly elected council members as clearly stated on several occasions by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Samuel Nwanosike, PDP spokesperson, in Rivers has however explained that the reason Governor Wike issued the directives to council chairmen to seek his consent before obtaining loan was to forestall frivolous loans that will further increase the state’s N17.2 billion loan profile.

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