Eating Tomorrow’s Yam: Katsina State Incessant Borrowing – By Malam Naini Musa
A Katsina Post report stated that “The Katsina State Government has increased its domestic debt profile by 21% between Dec 2020 and Mar 2021”. It further stated that the Debt Management Office (DMO) report stated that katsina state raised its debt from ₦48.03bn to ₦58.31bn in that period. Miraculously, according to a statistic firm, StatiSense, Katsina state tops the list of states that acquired debt in that period. After 6 years of folly and absolute circus, Katsina state has finally found a way to go beyond the rest. We may not get good governance, security or good infrastructure, but by God we will outrun anyone borrowing. We will own that.
Matters like this require proper understanding and awareness. The good people of Katsina may be oblivious to the factors that brought about this borrowing. In a turbulent place at a chaotic hour, maybe this act of hiked borrowing is necessary. Maybe it is being channeled to well needed projects that will change our lives for better. Quality Infrastructure building requires large amount of money. We have been clamoring for it, it is possible that our beloved governor has paid attention and is finally stepping up to the platter to save the day.
We all want a better Katsina. The government, its ardent supporters and its most extreme critics all want the same thing, a better Katsina. However, wishes and hopes alone do not translate into specific actions. Deliberate action alone saves the day. We cannot simply lay down our guard and believe in the good intentions of our leaders when their actions fail to match their deeds. As it stands today, Katsina state is not just the biggest borrower in the last six month, it has also found the unfortunate habit of building the most expensive road than its peers. We spend more per road than even our busier and more prosperous neighbors. Sadly, the quality is not even visibly better.
It is tragically ironic that the people of this country believe that the overall quality of life is declining and we are in an era of hardship. This is compounded with the problem of insecurity. People’s lives and properties are in a state of devastation. The people of Katsina are witnessing a rapid deterioration of their habitat and most things they hold dear. While everybody else is feeling the brunt of this assault, our leaders cannot be bothered. How else do you justify a 3KM road being constructed at a price of almost a billion? Surely this is most outrageous. Even more outrageous is the fact that the contract went to the company of the ruling party’s biggest benefactor. A company not known for its quality road. They even had the audacity to tell us that his company submitted the lowest bid. Well if we are going to spend about a billion for that project, why give it to the lowest bidder? Why not give it to a person who can deliver better service no matter how much the price? Somehow, I doubt the credibility of that excuse.
We are eating tomorrow’s yam. However, the yam is only served to them and their kindred. In the last two decades, Katsina has witnessed much deterioration in infrastructure. Our roads are death traps with potholes everywhere. At this point, one will be forgiven for thinking that we do not have a water board, water is scarce. We live in anarchy, where in most part of our state, the bandits have a better claim to calling themselves authority than our own institutions of governance and security. I am dumbfounded as to what they are borrowing for? One would think that nothing is being tended to? Where are the guardians? Poultry farms could not be managed like this. I am confident that if you put the same amount of enthusiasm into managing a poultry farm as is being exhibited by Katsina state government, you will not have a poultry farm to manage after two months.
This is the same government that has serially failed in protecting its citizen from attack. One would think that at this stage, the only list we should be topping is the list of state most dedicated to security and humanitarian efforts for our devastated populace. They will not even allow us this grace. While the wailings of widows, orphans and maimed men is yet to subside, our leaders are emptying the coffers and borrowing. I know without doubt that all this moves are not in favor of the common man on the street. Nothing this government has done was for the good of the common man on the street.
You would think that with the disastrous mismanagement and albatross greed exhibited by this leaders, they will have to start hiding their faces. No, some of them have already started underground movements in their bid to rule this state once more. With long life “Wetin Musa no go see for gate”. Ikon Allah Kenan. We are assured that as far as shame goes, they are devoid of even a slightest hint of it. One would wonder whether they live in an alternate world where reality is forsaken for fantasy and fairy tales.
We advise that this government desist from ruining our tomorrow. Our today and yesterday were not enjoyable and we are living through its consequences. We accept that. However, we will not accept any attempt to kill the only thing we look forward to; to see the back of their heads as they exit the seats they are abusing. The little they have today, they have not been able to conjure anything of substance. What will much offer? Are they suddenly going to transform into decent beings willing to take fiscal responsibility just because there is so much more money? I would argue for the opposite of that. These hyenas will only have more to gobble.
Mallam Naini Musa
Mallam Naini Musa is a writer and a social critic.
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