The Looted N2Billion MSME Fund: A Step Backward on the Kogi Project

For the umpteenth time, it’s exclusively necessary to state that the KOGI PROJECT – where there would be collective development and individual happiness of her people – has been utterly compromised, thus heading for total collapse by the previous uninspiring leaders that held sway before the incumbent. Here is it, the 2billion Naira meant for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development in Kogi state – converted to an elephant shared -constitutes one of the major wounds being nursed by the Governor Yahaya Bello administration.

Let me douse your curiosity… the immediate past governor, Captain Idris Wada (retired), accessed a whooping sum of Two Billion Naira from the Central Bank of Nigeria for the specific purpose of developing MSME and, by extension, youth development in Kogi state. In other words, it was a loan collected for the singular reason of developing the youths through entrepreneurship initiatives. Alas! The said fund was collected in raw cash and heartlessly converted to an electioneering largesse by Captain Wada and the then PDP members at the expense of developing and building potential business tycoons that comes with immense positive ripple effect on the state security and economic status.

Afterwards, they tried to contrive the antics of branding the fund as a grant, whichever way still does not justify the unfortunate misapplication of the developmental loan, as the lofty dreams, plans and future of so many young Kogites had hit the brick wall by such height of greed and tactless larceny by Wada and his cohorts. Now, beyond the numerous youths rendered unemployed and idle, is the accompanying social vices the idleness must have attracted, leading to horrible insecurity in the state, which the GYB government is battling with head-on. Also,the long term adverse effect on the state treasury is the continuous deduction from the state coffers by CBN for a fund that added no value to the state. They are the same set of people fighting the New Direction Administration as led by Governor Bello because it is no longer business as usual as all their conduit pipe of looting has been blocked.

To further boggle your minds, let us practically carry out the arithmetic on the large number of youths the stolen #2,000,000,000 loan would have liberalised from the unemployment net and the soaring economic effect in the state if the fund is aptly applied. For example, at #1million each will amount to 2,000 Kogi youth been lifted; at #500,000 each will amount to 4,000 kogi youths been developed; at #200,000 each will amount to 10,000 Kogi youths singing a new song and so on. Crystal clear, why Kogi state became the haven of crime and criminality, comatose economy and non-thriving MSME’s in the recent past. Truly, the Kogi debacle is a resultant bandwagon effect of years of maladministration by egoistic leaders.

If not for the swift, purposeful and negotiating prowess of GYB and his sound finance team that bargained on a monthly deduction of #26,530,550.11 for a spread of 7 years by the CBN, the hitherto plan by the issuing institution after the regrettable misuse by past government was to draw it with the interest TWICE from the state resources, which would have been catastrophic on the state meeting vital developmental demands. Despite the tactful deduction agreement reached, it is still a clog in the wheel of the state’s progress. The state is now likened to an innocent soul suffering from the consequence of sin not committed. It’s pathetic!

Let’s imagine the number of internal roads, cottage hospitals, farm equipment, school laboratory equipment, school rehabilitations and public utilities the monthly deduction would have provided, but rather is at the mercy of CBN as a result of leaders of ignoble character and thievery posture. It’s now easier to know enemies of Kogi state than knowing the state is in the North-Central of Nigeria.

Apparently, the state has been denied access to the loan before now but because of the incredible reforms and sound policies engendered by the New Direction agenda, which culminated to good governance, has paved way for the state access to such robust opportunity again. This time, it shall be utilised for what it was meant and repaid by the potentials and entrepreneurship spirit in our youths when the fund is available. The multiplier effect cum economic contribution of MSMEs, given a conducive atmosphere, cannot be undermined. This is what the GYB administration is poised to explore.

Conclusively, the reckless act of inhumanity to Kogites, especially the youths, by the supposed leaders entrusted with our mandate is before the anti-corruption agency- EFCC and competent court of jurisdiction. We hope this will bring succour and hope to the already deprived people of the state.

Never again shall we return to Egypt,as GYB has demonstrated that the KOGI PROJECT is possible where justice,equity and fairness reign supreme.

We are now on the New Direction train heading towards a greater Kogi state, where the resources are rightly used for ALL Kogites and corruption becomes and remains a taboo.

In the foregoing, the GYB administration will stop at nothing in exposing and subsequently prosecuting all corrupt cases of public office holders both past and present, in his determined quest to lift Kogi state out of the doldrums of under-development instigated by long age misgovernance.

It’s a New Direction, the path way to greater Kogi State.

By Hon. Mukadam Asiwaju A. Idris