Kaduna, Plateau new governors pledge better deals for states amid debt burden

Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai

Former Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai has declared that he left behind N80.60 billion local and $577.32m foreign debts for the new governor of the state, Senator Uba Sani.

El-Rufai, in his farewell speech to the people of the state, Monday, May 29, 2023, also disclosed that N5 billion was left in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and $2.05 million in domiciliary account.

Buttressing his point, he maintained that “as at the last financial year, the state government had the following liabilities: domestic debt of N64.54bn, other contingent liabilities of N16.06bn and foreign debts of US $577.32m.

“We have spent N818.9bn as capital expenditure between 2015 and 2022 in the prosecution of our first and second State Development Plans, attracting nearly US $5bn in foreign and domestic investments that created jobs, improved our tax receipts and laid a solid foundation for the future.

“We are leaving behind a net cash balance in our Treasury Single Account of about N5bn after deductions for the payment of salaries, pensions and dues to the Local Government Councils, and US $2.05m in our Domiciliary Account as of yesterday 28th May 2023. 

“Kaduna State has receivables for reimbursements of infrastructure and security spending from the Federal Government amounting to about N41 billion, that will be paid to the state in due course.” 

He, however, said “this does not include the sums due to the state as share of the accumulated stamp duties receipts, estimated at over N100 billion that the incoming government will certainly receive before the end of this year.” 

…Plateau’s N200bn debt

And in Plateau state, Governor Caleb Mutfwang described as worrisome the over N200billion debt burden inherited from his predecessor, Solomon Lalong.

Governor Mutfwang expressed the worry Monday during his inauguration at the Jos Wrang Pam township stadium.

“I understand clearly the enormity of the task before me and I have no illusions that it is going to be an easy ride. The state is presently under a huge debt burden of over 200 billion naira. The healthcare sector is in need of urgent attention, our school system requires a comprehensive overhaul, our infrastructure is decayed and inadequate, and practically, every sector requires urgent redress,” he lamented.

The governor said there were no quick fix to these challenges, assuring however that “we are prepared to take the challenges head-on and we will hit the ground running immediately.”

 Governor Mutfwang said his administration had resolved and  resolute in their desire for a new Plateau. 

“Let me reaffirm that we will summon the political will, every step of the way, to initiate policies and programmes that will engender peace, progress and prosperity in our land. This is a solemn commitment, and you can hold me to my word,” he said.

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