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Frank Nweke Jnr, Loan or Bank Guarantee: Look before you Leap

By Eze Nwamadi, Ogbonna Asadu and Ezema Igwenunu

Frank Nweke Jnr ordinarily should have depth, having served as Chief of Staff in Chimaroke’s administration of Enugu State, as a minister in Obasanjo’s government and as the Director General of National Economic Planning Summit Group. But the zeal to criticize and attack has frankly derailed Frank, and made him look stupid before the people. Politics has a way of creating a monster out of fine men. Otherwise, why should Frank Nweke Jnr kick the air with his two legs in his zeal to get the Mbah Administration harangued over a purported N170 billion loan?

If ordinary men could not make out the difference between bank guarantee and loan, does it also follow that Frank Nweke Jnr with his pedigree in public service would fall into the same cesspool of either mischief or absolute ignorance on the working of financial instruments. It is good that things like this happen. It has a way of exposing the weaknesses of men who cloak their shallowness in most thick fripperies and parade themselves in false identity.

The debt profile of Enugu State which Mbah inherited is quite high. By implication, the borrowing capacity of the state is impaired as monthly federal allocation cannot sustain it. For a government passionate about the development of Enugu State and poverty alleviation, how would the Mbah Administration fund the humongous infrastructure and capital projects it intends to build? Didn’t this question agitate the mind of Frank Nweke Jnr? Assuming without conceding that Mbah is borrowing N170 billion as perceived naively from the surface, did Nweke ask himself the purpose for which the money is being borrowed? Is it meant for capital or recurrent expenditure? What is wrong with borrowing for infrastructural deliverables, to say nothing of the humongous returns on the projects, something like the New Enugu City projected to yield N500 billion? The fact is that it is either Nweke lacks financial intelligence, or he is still nursing the wounds of defeat at the polls and tribunal from where he scampered away like a rodent, having nothing to hold against the clear victory of Peter Ndubuisi Mbah at the March 18, 2023 governorship polls. It appears Frank found the fuss over the said loan coming from the Labour side an occasion to cut his pound of flesh.

What actually makes the difference is thinking. Governor Mbah thinks, and thinks creatively. While Frank Nweke and the simpletons raise eyebrows once they hear the word, loan, Mbah creatively wriggles Enugu State out of the debilitating financial murky waters. It may interest Frank Nweke Jnr to know that the sum of N100 billion Bank Guarantee from Fidelity Bank constituting 59% of the said loan is specifically tied to the building of the New Enugu City. It is a guarantee from the bank to contractors that upon performance, they would be paid by the bank. Meanwhile, this BG would crystalize in 36 months, a time when the returns from the sales shall have been realized. By implication, Mbah smartly raises money for the project without borrowing a dime. Isn’t this commendable? Isn’t this creative of Governor Mbah?

Now, N10 billion from Fidelity Bank is an overdraft and another N10 billion term loan which are standby funds with which to mitigate eventualities. The sum of N50 billion as approved by Globus Bank is meant for Enugu State Housing Corporation’s construction of houses which returns after sales would yield N100 billion. These things are intentional and mathematically worked out with acuity. It is a thing Mbah does which confounds the simple and amazes the learned. Who would not appreciate this creativity that has the capacity to yield bountiful returns into the coffers of the state government? We have taken time to explain these things so that even the ordinary man on the street would understand what Governor Mbah has done, and which Frank Nweke Jnr apparently misunderstands, or deliberately found an occasion to let out his bottled emotions and vendetta over clear defeat. Frank was desperate and ran himself politically stymied.

We can only advise Frank Nweke Jnr to look well before he leaps lest he would fall into the ditch. Such opprobrious display of arrant ignorance is unseemly of a figure of Frank Nweke standing. Frank Nweke Jnr has inadvertently turned an activist in his zeal to excoriate the Mbah Administration. Nweke is still sulking like a baby, brooding disconsolately over his misadventure at the governorship. Like a wounded viper, he is rolling his forked tongue about seeking whom to bite and unleash his venom. By so doing, he has rendered himself stupid in the public space with his jaundiced treatise on Enugu debt profile.

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