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Governor Uba Sani and the debt burden

When Governor Uba Sani’s administration was inaugurated on May 29, 2023, the question on the lips of many people in the state was whether the…

When Governor Uba Sani’s administration was inaugurated on May 29, 2023, the question on the lips of many people in the state was whether the new governor would be able to fit the big shoe his predecessor left for him or not.

The eight years of Malam Nasir El-Rufai were dogged with controversies arising from his local government reforms in which thousands of civil servants were sacked and a demolition policy that witnessed the pulling down of many structures that were considered illegal.

 On Saturday, last week, the governor during a town hall meeting, raised an alarm that his administration inherited a huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the previous administration, making it difficult for him to pay workers’ salaries.

He explained that N7 billion out of the N10 billion federal allocation due to the state in March was deducted to service the debt.

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For a state government to be servicing N7 billion public debt monthly, it will become very difficult to meet up with its financial obligations.

Before the 2023 general elections, El-Rufai had boasted about how he cut the cost of governance through restructuring and improving the state’s revenues for optimum performance.

While El-Rufai deserves a pat on the back for the urban renewal programmes spread across Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan, the loans he incurred to implement those projects need more explanation.

The cold political war which is brewing in the state between El-Rufai and Governor Uba Sani should be tamed for peace, unity and development of the state.

The APC stakeholders should quickly intervene, call the duo to a negotiating table and prevail on them to sheathe their swords. This unhealthy development will slow the pace of socio-economic development of the state. 

 

Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna State

 

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