…I cleared all debt before handing over – Almakura
By David Odama
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule has cried out over huge debt inherited from the administration of senator Tanko Almakura which he said is impeding the smooth running of his government.
This is even as the immediate past governor has denied saying he cleared all debts before handing over in May.
Sule who charged the people of the state to warm up for hard times ahead as revenue accruing to the state kept dwindling regretted that huge sums of money was being deducted at source monthly by the federal government as bailout, budget support facility and infrastructure loan left behind by the immediate past government.
Governor Sule stated this at two different occasions recently at the retreat for new commissioners in Akwanga local government and when he played host to speakers of legislative councils in the 13 LGAs at the government house.
It was alleged that the immediate past government under Umaru Tanko Al-Makura received N8.9bn bailout from the Federal Government in September 2015.
According to government sources, Al-Makura government took another loan from the federal government to the tune of about N800m to pay salaries and another N10bn from excess crude account to develop infrastructures in the state.
Governor Sule expressed worries that the deductions of these three different loans are coming at the time he is committed to paying 100% salaries and pensions as well as the federal government implementation of N30,000 minimum wage.
According to him ” The way things are going, the revenue Nasarawa will get next year will be worse than what we will get from the federation account this year.
“The reason is that the previous government took budget support facility to the tune of about N800m and the whole idea was to pay salaries, in 2015 the state took another loan called bailout and there was another N10bn loan from excess crude account.
“So at the end of the day, we have three facilities that were taken, we are paying them back now starting from September 2019 and it will continue, that is why I said let us face realities, the revenue coming in will be lower and there are deductions already,” he said
The Governor explained that governing the state at the moment required enormous sacrifice, noting that he has developed a template to cut down cost of governance to the barest minimum.
But speaking two months to hand over at the government house, Al-Makura said he was not leaving behind any debt for the new government of Abdullahi Sule.
Al-Makura who is now a senator representing Nasarawa south while reacting said that he inherited N40bn debt on assumption of office in 2011 but claimed to have cleared all the debt inherited from past administration.
According to him “The Sule administration will take off on a clean slate as all the debts owed by the state have been cleared, noting that all the loans he took to execute capital projects had been paid off in addition to clearing N40bn debt inherited” Al-Makura
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