Contrary to the relentless propaganda in some political quarters, the Willie Obiano administration has once more stated that it inherited debts from the Peter Obi administration. Secretary to the Anambra State Government, Professor Solomon Chukwulobelu made the declaration mid week while answering a question as guest of the Governor’s Media Office. ‘On the issue of this administration inheriting debt from the previous administration, the answer is yes.’ The Secretary to the State Government said that the liabilities transferred from the Peter Obi Government were in various categories.
”There were debts that are long term, programmes like State Education Programme Investment Project (Sepip) and Nigeria Erosion & Watershed Management Project (Newmap) which are done using World Bank credit. These are projects that the previous administration entered into. If you go to the Debt Management Office, you’ll get the records and see how far back those debts originated.’
The SSG identified the second leg of the inherited liabilities in the form of ‘Standard Payment Orders that were signed and deductions were going on.’ On commercial debts, Professor Chukwulobe painted a representative scenario with his experience as Commissioner before his appointment as SSG.
”When I was the Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, one of the first things that confronted me was a procurement of N256m incurred by the previous administration on identity registration with Chams. That money had not been paid and there were a number of such cases. It was the Obiano Government that paid them after review,” Chukeulobelu submitted.
”There were also contractors under MDGs that were not paid. There were other contractors whose certificates were not paid,” the SSG further stressed. He said the debts were a major issue at the inception of the present government which was handled without sensationalism. ‘Government is a continuum.
What new administrations did wass to put a form of wedge, understudy the debts, review them and carry on with the business of Government. Governor Obiano set up a review committee on these debts and paid them off.’
Clement Chukwuka, Managing Director of Anambra Small Business Agency had on August 25, 2020 at the Governor’s Media Office forum disclosed that his agency was still trying to track the beneficiaries of a CBN N2.2b loan taken by the previous Government.
It will be recalled that on September 9, 2017, the then Commissioner for Information & Communication Strategy, Tony Nnacheta issued a press release informing that the Obiano administration had cleared N940m local government pension arrears; N1.9b Water Corporation & ANSEPA staff salary arrears; and N670m pension arrears of ABS/National Light workers; all inherited from the Peter Obi administration.