The Kogi State Government has concluded plans to borrow an extra 100 million dollars in order to fast track the social economic development of the state.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen shortly after the State Executive Council meeting held at the government house in Lokoja.
Mr. Idris also said there was no cause for alarm over the intended debt as the state is buoyant enough to sustain its present and expected debts.
Idris said the state has already paid a visit to the senate to defend its need for the 100 million dollars which when released will be channelled towards developing the Staple Crop Processing Zone, SCPZ in Alape, Kabba Bunnu area of the state.
“The 100 million dollar when accessed will be used to build roads, construct electricity and other social amenities within the Alape Crop Processing Zone.
“This will in turn make the place and the state accessible to investors to come in and do agricultural businesses; a development that will generate income and employments for the state.”
Asiru also confirmed that the state still had the capacity to borrow based on its fiscal sustainability plan
‘‘The fiscal sustainability of the state gives room for borrowing. If the state debt has not gone beyond 250 per cent of his income then, it can still borrow. Kogi is presently on 147 percent.
“Also, a state who is not using more than 40 percent of his Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to service loan can still borrow. Kogi is presently using only 28 per cent of its IGR to service loan. We still have a difference of 12 per cent to borrow.
“We are not borrowing for consumption. We are borrowing to build capital projects. This is in line with the state governor‘s fight against insecurity. Because if you don’t provide food security then any fight against insecurity will be a mirage.”
The Finance Commissioner also said the state government at the Executive meeting approved the creation of a new Department of International Cooperation to coordinate funds from World Bank, and other donor agencies.
He said all ministries have also been mandated to look inward and contribute to the economic development of the state in line with the fiscal discipline directive of the governor’s agenda.