Governor Wille Obiano of Anambra State has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to refund the N25 billion debt which the state government spent in reconstructing federal roads in the state.
Obiano who made the call at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia during a stakeholder’s forum to mark his 18 months in office, said the amount if refunded would be channeled towards other pressing needs in the state.
He noted that while some other state governors, are cap in hand seeking federal govern-ment’s bailout over their inability to pay salaries, Anambra is being owed such a huge sum of money in the midst of dwindling federal allocations to the states and internally generated revenues. He however expressed optimism that the federal government would look into the matter as according to him, his last discussion with Buhari last week showed that efforts were being made to refund the money to the state.
Obiano said on assumption of office, he discovered that many cheques issued in the twilight of his predecessor’s tenure were flying about, prompting him to streamline them, adding that a forensic audit he ordered in the state public service exposed about 520 ghost workers
According to him, the amount recovered and his creative approach to revenue generation, as well as investment inflow accounted for the buoyancy of the state and its ability to pay salaries and meet other obligations.
He said prior to the federal government’s directive on Treasury Single Account, TSA, his administration had already operated a single account as against 150 accounts in operation in the state when he assumed office barely 18 months ago.
By Nwabueze Okonkwo