APGA chieftain wants measures to address Imo debt profile
A chieftain of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo, Mr Stephen Nwoga, said the debt profile of the state was high and said there was urgent need to address it.
Nwoga told Newsmen on Monday in Abuja that the state’s indebtedness was disturbing, and that the state government needed to make the right economic policies and decisions.
“I believe Imo debt profile is highly unsustainable. From what I have seen, we are owing N111 billion.
“We receive federal allocation of between N3.2 billion, to the maximum of N4 billion.
“This means that it is impossible for Imo to pay its debt with the current income it collects,’’ Nwoga said.
He, however, said that the only way to mitigate the debt burden was to reduce the cost of governance as well as improve on the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“We need to bring investments into Imo, to create more jobs and income.
“We need to bring in new businesses and investors into the state through good policies. It was after Anambra had such policies that people started investing in the state.
“Presently, Imo has IGR of between N250 million and N400 million per month, which is very small in relation to neighbouring states.
“We are an oil-producing state. Anambra was generating between N1.5 billion and N2 billion per month because the ease of doing business in the state allow people to invest.
“Investing in Imo is cumbersome and difficult,” he said.
Nwoga said that there was need to improve on the state’s IGR to about N2 billion per month.
He added that making Imo the medical tourism centre in Nigeria was realisation through investments in world-class medical institutions in the state.
“I believe that at the core of providing medical care is health insurance.
“There is something we are doing in our community now which is providing healthcare through health insurance.
“We already have primary healthcare facilities in Imo, but they are not functioning.
“The health insurance should make all the health institutions and local health institutions very viable.’’
He said that such insurance would make the health facilities to be more attentive to the people and the local doctors, because they could all be captured in the scheme