The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Wille Obiano has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to refund the N25 billion debt which the state government spent in reconstructing federal roads in the state.
Obiano who made the appeal during a stakeholder’s forum to mark his 18 months in office at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, at the weekend said the amount if refunded would go a long way in reducing the mounting obligations faced by the state government.
The Stakeholders Meeting which attracted the presence of professionals in different fields of human endeavour including captains of industry, representatives of organized private sector, market associations and civil society and women groups, included Prince Arthur Eze, Chief Cletus Ibeto, Senators Chris Ngige, Annie Okonkwo, Alphonsus Ubanesse Igbeke, Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, Professor Godwin Maduka, Chief Pete Edochie, Chief Cosmas Agagbo, Chief Celestine Tagbo, and Chief Nwachukwu Anakwenze, former Chairman, World Igbo Congress, Stella Okunna, Oseloka Obaze, Prince Ossy Ezenwa, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, and Chief Nkem Orjiako.
He noted that while some other state governors, excluding Anambra state government were swimming in billions of naira occasioning bail out by the federal government on account of their inability to pay salaries, Anambra State which adopted other creative means to pay salaries and meet other pressing needs was being owed such a huge sum of money in the midst of dwindling federal allocations to the states and internally generated revenues.
According to him, the Federal government has promised to look into his demand even as he expressed optimism that the refund would be made.
The Governor said on assumption of office, he discovered that many Cheques issued in the twilight of his predecessor’s tenure were flying about, prompting him to freeze the account until the matter was streamlined, adding that a forensic audit he ordered in the state public service exposed about 520 ghost workers.
He stated the amount recovered from the ghost workers after he had a forensic audit yielded dividends to the point that about 520 ghost workers were exposed, adding that the savings from the loopholes, aggressive revenue generation drive as well as investment inflow occasioning secured environment accounted for the buoyancy of the state and its ability to pay salaries and meet other obligations.
The Governor said prior to the federal government’s directive on Treasury Single Account, TSA, his administration had already operated a single account as against 150 accounts in operation in the state when he assumed office barely 18 months ago.
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