Governments borrow money whenever there is need. Mr. Peter Obi did not borrow; because he felt Anambra State needed to be stabilized first and he did it completely. If well managed, the money saved for the State in foreign currency would go a long way in sustaining the development of the State.
Now, his predecessor thinks differently. He plans to undertake massive borrowing, and as far as I know, Mr. Obi has not, and is not attempting to stop him. Does Obi even have the capacity to do so? Rather than fulfil their heart desires, they must first of all tell lies about the money Obi left. They are even trying desperately to hang the cross of debt on him. Too bad!
For clarity sake, on coming to office, Obi spent his first year to complete all the contracts awarded by his predecessors. In some cases, he had to start some from scratch. Obi, for example, paid over 35 billion in arrears of pension and gratuity.
Though they inflated the figures, but the point to note is that the debt they are talking about in their press conference is contract sum on projects yet to be executed. What an absurd reasoning! How can somebody, for example, say you owe 10 Naira you will use to build a house you have just conceived? This is incestuous reasoning!
As a matter of fact, during his inauguration, Gov. Obiano listed many projects he would undertake, some of which are building an airport, building three power stations, among others. He started 3 flyovers at the initial cost of 5 Billion Naira that was later varied to 15 Billion Naira. They diverted the money meant for the road, from Amansea to Amawbia roundabout, which Obi started, to his three flyovers.
The contractor doing those flyovers is owed over 7 Billion Naira. He also started the construction of three roads to the airport simultaneously. Are these not enough reasons to convince Anambra people on the need to borrow rather than bring Mr. Peter Obi into it?
Before Chief Willie became Governor, Obi designed the road from Umueje to Oil rig with a 100 meter bridge at the cost of 9 Billion, but characteristic of him, Willie added two other roads, including the one from Aguleri with two bridges at the cost of over 20 Billion Naira. The only major road he awarded in Anambra Central is Oba-Umuoji (Stauphanet Chapel) at the cost of 3.7 Billion Naira; in the North, Ezira-Umuomaku-Enugu-Umuonyia-Achina road (Arab Contractors) at the cost of 4.7 Billion. He did not pay mobilisation in any of the roads.
On the issues of shares in Emenite and INTAFACT, I am convinced that our respected Governor Willie Obiano allowed non-professionals to raise issues on behalf of the Government of Anambra State. The principle of handover is that one hands everything to his predecessor, even if the investment was done for the State by Adam. Some Governors sold shares of their States, but in Obi’s own case, he handed over those he met.
On SABmiller, as at the time Obi handed over and without prejudice to his initial investment, Anambra shares in the company was worth over 3.5 Billion Naira. Today it is worth over 10 Billion Naira. If today Anambra State Government wants to hand the company over to any person, their handover note should read 10 Billion Naira and not 3.5 Billion Naira, otherwise the person taking over will eat the unaccounted 6.5 Billion naira and argue successfully that he was handed over 3.5 Billion Naira.
On Orient Petroleum, Anambra State Government tried to deny Obi’s investment. It is not enough to say that the State’s land was used as equity, but the fact is that the land has value upon which cash was paid as compensation to the communities involved.
They said that Obi left 106.2 Billion (wrong figure) over hang on contractual debts alone. I challenge them to publish the schedule of the debts and the companies being owed. As at the time Obi left office, he paid for all the certificates generated on contracts awarded. Certificates are generated on the basis of work completed. Are they saying Obi ought to pay for contracts yet to be done? The same man saying this awarded 35 fresh roads within his first year in office at the total cost of over 81 billion Naira out of which he has paid 10 Billion Naira.
On the other hand, Obi awarded roads totalling 93 Billion in his last year in office and paid a total of over 51 Billion on those roads before leaving office. Most of those roads were used to campaign for him during electioneering on the premise of continuity.
In fact, he even urged Obi to award more and start the construction of the airport, but Obi told him he was working under the confines of proper planning that would not get the Government unnecessarily encumbered.
Some may argue that it is a matter of style, that while Obi tried to save for the State, the EXCO of his successor approved 5 Billion Naira for him to celebrate his first 100 days in office. He charters plane, what his predecessor never did. Today Government house hosts all manner of parties that are orgies. One can go on and on.
They also said Obi claimed that the 10 Billion Naira federal approved refund, out of over 20 Billion Naira he used to work on Federal roads, were part of the money he left. This is not true, in his handover note, he mentioned it, but he deducted it, as well as salaries (March), pension, certificates on works done, all amounting to 5 Billion Naira before arriving at 75 billion Naira. The record is there.
It is pertinent to note that two years have gone, and Anambra State Government is still debating what was left or not, even when other Governors that inherited huge debts, unpaid salaries and repayable loans and bonds have all taken off. In Obi’s first 6 months in office, he had already saved enormous money for the State- before he was illegally impeached.
I do not know by what economics principle they classified some money put in certain areas as “not investment.” I think they need to explain this further to us. Did Obi use the money to organise party as is now the order of the day?
It is shocking to note that Anambra State Government said they only met 9 Billion cash in the treasury. I have taken the pains to attach the summary of Anambra cash in different banks as at 17th of March, 2017. I have gone ahead to attach one example of the Statement of one of the accounts as at 17th of March (Unutilised UBEC money in Diamond Bank, which was two Billion, one hundred and one million, eight hundred and Sixty-four Thousand, Ninety Naira N2,101,864,837.90) to drive home the point that we have all the statements. We shall publish all of them in due time.
One of the most confounding claims by the Government of Anambra State is the issue of dollar investment. They tried to prove that the investment has diminished in value, when, on the contrary, the investment has earned 8 billion Naira for the State. Let it also be noted that the investment is meant to be held to maturity and not for them to seek ways to sell it as they do now.
Let us look at some of the spending pattern of the present Government at Awka and juxtapose it with the claim that they have not touched the money Obi left.
5 Billion Naira approved by EXCO for the celebration of the first 100 days in office
I Billion Naira monthly as security vote as if he buys hardware such as fighter planes
Hundreds of millions for 2014 Christmas decoration and buying of horses
Paid 3.2 billion Naira to water corporation (though money was 1st bank ecological funds left by Obi and garnished by the court)
40 Million Naira to change the gates at Government Lodge to befit his status.
35 Million Naira to mount a befitting gate at the Government House
Changed the roof of all the buildings in Government House with the sum of 700 Million Naira
Changed all the tiles in Government House to pale granite at 150 Million Naira
Bought dining table at 25 Million
Bought seats for his parlour (lodge) at 50 Million
Bought gold bed from the USA at 30 Million
Bought another gold bed for his wife at 25 Million Naira
Imported kitchen cabinet from the USA at 40 Million
Bought musical sets for his Aguleri home at 150 Million. He is getting set to use it for the first time for a party in Aguleri on Saturday, the 21st
Bought land of all those around him at Aguleri and re-located them elsewhere.
Pays his Commissioners and SAs over N400,000 monthly as against 190,000 Obi paid
Pays SSAs over N300,000 as against 160,000 Obi paid
In less than two years, he has used more vehicles than Obi used in 8 years
His SSG, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu uses 3 Prado and 2 Hilux
His present Chief of Staff, Prof. Azike uses 2 Prado and 2 Hilux
His present Principal Secretary, Mr. Nwokoye uses 2 Prado and 1 pick up
And many more…
From the foregoing, you will agree with me that we need a public, televised debate on this matter so that Anambra people will be properly informed. I am ready to take on any person who is ready for the debate. This is not about calling a press conference and dishing unadulterated lies to the people.
STATE cash balances as at 17th of March, 2014
1. STATE CASH BOOK BALANCE-N5,372,730,886.06
2. STATE SUBSIDY ACCOUNT BALANCE-N5,126,258,908.72
3. ECOLOGICAL FUNDS ACCOUNT BALANCE-N2,139,951,400.00
4. SPECIAL PROJECT ACCOUNT-N1,928,596,191.00
5. L.G.A. SUREP – SOCIAL SERVICE ACCOUNT REF: C-N1,734,069,061.69
6. JAAC ACCOUNT BALANCES-N1,389,966,705.49
7. MINISTRY OF LANDS-N 640,425,745.77
8. FIDELITY BALANCESREF:A-N1,195,705,433.46
9. SET ASIDE ACCOUNTSREF:B-N4,644,149,663.40
10. MIN. OF WORKS-N1,161,706,912.93
11. MIN OF YOUTH AND SPORTS-N 425,000,000.00
12. MILLENIUYM DEV. GOAL (MDG/CGS) REF: D-N 198,025,255.77
13. MIN. OF PUBLIC UTILITIES, WATER RESOURCES
AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT-N 107,534,571.87
14.UNUTILIZED UBEC ACCOUNT-N2,101,864,837.90
DISCLAIMER : Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of ElombahNews!
Would you like to be receiving ALL ElombahNews links ‘On The Go’ on WhatsApp Or Telegram? If yes, join us here on WhatsApp or Telegram, or provide us your Telephone number via firstname.lastname@example.org or sms/inbox +2349050382526 and you are good to go!
DOWNLOAD ElombahNews mobile app here
Send eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles to email@example.com; follow us on twitter @ElombahNews; like our Facebook page ElombahNews