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Economy Blues: Why Kaduna can’t pay salaries without borrowing –Governor

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State

*Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State reveals the reason his administration can’t pay salaries without borrowing, alleging  immediate past Governor (Malam) Nasir El-Rufai’s government left $587m, N85bn and N115bn ‘contractual liabilities’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Amid the socio-economic challenges causing  dislocations among Nigerians in several states of the Federation, Governor (Senator) Uba Sani of Kaduna State has complained about how the alleged huge debt burden his administration inherited from the previous administration in the state, has affected the smooth running of his government.

ConsumerConnect reports Governor Sani, who disclosed this development at the weekend during a Town Hall Meeting, tagged: “The State of Kaduna State”, declared that the state’s financial position is that serious to the extent that the government will need to borrow to pay workers’ salaries.

Traditional rulers, members of the Kaduna Elders Council, religious leaders, and top government officials among others, attended the Town Hall meeting in Kaduna.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai, who handed over the reins of governance to Governor Sani, had governed the state notorious for kidnapping, banditry and terrorism for eight years.

The Kaduna Governor at the event noted the huge debt burden includes $587million, N85billion and N115billion contractual liabilities “sadly inherited from the previous administration.”

He, however, assured despite the current financial challenges, his administration remains resolute in steering the state towards progress and sustainable development.

The governor further explained that Kaduna State Government receives only N3.6 billion monthly, after deduction of N7.2 billion for debt servicing.

Sani stated: “What we received from the Federal allocation in Kaduna this month was N3.6 billion out of over N10 billion. The sum of N7.5 billion was deducted from our allocation to service debts.

“We cannot pay salaries without borrowing. Our salary bill is N5.2 billion. We will have to borrow N2 billion to be able to pay salaries.”

For possible assistance from the centre, Governor Sani said he had approached President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for support to Kaduna.

“I have taken our cry to the President over these deductions. The President told me that the debt of $556 million is a World Bank debt and there is nothing he can do about it.

“He, however, promised to see how he could help us. Some of my governor colleagues have also promised to approach the President to assist Kaduna.

“In the next three months we will be collecting N3.6 billion from the federal allocation,” said Kaduna State Governor.

He equally revealed: “Despite the huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion and N115 billion Naira 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.”

Sani stated: “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.”

The governor also used the occasion to highlight the priority areas of his government to include safety and security, housing, education, healthcare, and support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

He noted: “We are also prioritising inclusive development by investing in human capital, stimulating the economy, and providing affordable housing.”

The governor, therefore, appealed to citizens of the state, especially workers to understand the present predicament being faced by the state.

Sani said since he assumed office a lot of progress had been made in improving security of lives and property by revamping of Kaduna State Vigilance Service (KADVS); recruitment of 7,000 additional personnel for KADVS; as well as training and equipping of the newly recruited personnel.

Others, he stated, include building of additional security outposts for KADVS at the seven LGAs that are prone to insecurity; and purchasing of Hilux vehicles and 100 motorcycles for Kaduna Vigilance Service (KADVS) to enhance their operations.

“We are strengthening our collaboration with security agencies and fashioning more effective strategies to checkmate and degrade the evil elements laying siege to our communities.

“We are also closely engaging with neighboring states to develop joint strategies and carry out joint operations against the criminal elements,” Governor Sani said.

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