Kaduna Gov raises alarm over N85bn, $587m Debts he inherited

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Kaduna State Governor, Sen. Uba Sani, has raised the alarm over the states huge debt burden, saying his administration inherited $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from his predecessor Mall. Nasir El-rufai, making it extremely difficult for him to pay worker’s salaries.

He however stated that despite the humongous debt burden on the State government, he was yet to borrow a single kobo in the last nine months of his administration.

The Governor made the revelation in Kaduna on Saturday while addressing a Town Hall Meeting, adding that the huge debt burden was eating deep into the State’s monthly Federal Allocation of fund, hence the state was finding it difficult to pay monthly salaries.

Governor Sani lamented that due to the rise in the exchange rate, Kaduna State is now paying back almost triple of what was borrowed by the previous administration of former Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

He explained that N7billion out of the N10billion Federal Allocation due for the State in the month of March was deducted to service the debt.

The Governor further lamented that the state was left with N3billion, an amount which is not enough to pay salaries, as the state’s monthly salary bill stands at N5.2billion.

He however assured that the debt burden not withstanding, his administration remained resolute in steering Kaduna State towards progress and sustainable development, as the government has conducted a thorough assessment of the situation and it was sharpening its focus accordingly.

According to the Governor, “despite the huge debt burden of 587 million Dollars, 85 billion Naira, and 115 Contractual Liabilities sadly inherited from the previous administration, we remain resolute in steering Kaduna State towards progress and sustainable development. We have conducted a thorough assessment of our situation and are sharpening our focus accordingly.

“It gladdened my heart to inform you that, despite the huge inherited debt on the state, till date, we have not borrowed a single kobo.

Recall that the immediate-past Governor Nasir El-Rufai had said he left a domestic debt of N80.60bn and a foreign debt of $577.32m for his successor during his handover to the new govenor last year.

El-Rufai also said he left N5bn and $2.05m in the state treasury.

Governor Sani highlighted some of his administration’s top priorities for 2024 to include safety and security, infrastructural development, education development, housing and urban development, social intervention and investment drive, among others.

On security, the Governor said the state has made a lot of progress through revamping of the Kaduna State Vigilance Service (KADVS) by recruiting 7,000 additional personnel for the service, while over 100 operational vehicles and 100 motorcycles have been procured for distribution to KADVS and the federal security agencies working in the state.

In the area of education, Sani said aside the establishment of several skills and vocational cities to address skill deficits in the state, his government in collaboration with Kuwait was working to reduce out-of-school children in Kaduna State by 200,000.

He added that the four-year program, which will start in may or June 2024, is a $62 million project that will build 102 new schools in the State and renovate 170 existing ones within a span of four year.

Also speaking at the Town Hall event, former Chief of Defence Staff, General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), urged efforts to address the security challenges facing the state, noting that without peace and security, no meaningful development can be achieved.

In his remarks, the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamali, expressed optimism that despite the challenges facing the state, the Governor has the capability to turn around the economy of the state for effective development. End

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