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Zamfara denies borrowing N14bn

The Zamfara State Government has clarified that the reported sum of N14.26 billion was not obtained through a loan but part of the proceeds from…

The Zamfara State Government has clarified that the reported sum of N14.26 billion was not obtained through a loan but part of the proceeds from a N20 billion bond initiated by the previous administration in the state.

It said the current administration of Governor Dauda Lawal has not taken any domestic or external loan since assuming office.

Sulaiman Bala Idris, the spokesman of the Zamfara governor, in a statement yesterday, insisted that the state government did not apply for or receive any loan, contrary to the Debt Management Office (DMO) report indicating otherwise.

Idris explained that the previous administration had initiated a N20 billion bond for the Zamfara cargo airport project, of which only N4 billion was received but not utilized.

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He said the remaining balance of N16 billion from the N20 billion bond is reflected as N14.26 billion in the DMO report, considering inflation adjustments.

“It is important to note that the previous Zamfara State government floated a N20 billion bond but failed to collect the total amount.

“The immediate past government received N4 billion out of the N20 billion loan requested for the Zamfara cargo airport project, though the funds were not utilized.

“Upon assuming office, we discovered that the payment terms made terminating the bond impossible without incurring a significant loss for the state.

 “The balance of N16 billion out of the N20 billion borrowed by the past administration is the N14.26 billion captured by the Debt Management Office (DMO). The value is reduced due to inflation.

 “The bond balance, which is still in a government account, has not been used and will be reserved for the airport project,” Idris said.