The newly inaugurated Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State said on Tuesday during in an interview with Arise News that he inherited debt to the tune of N109 billion from the immediate past administration.
Governor Soludo who was asked about the funds available to his administration, started by saying that the audited statement of the state was published on the 31st of December and so it is a matter of public record.
“In terms of debt I inherited, it runs into hundreds of billions of Naira. In that of cash, we met about 300 million Naira only. In fact let’s not talk about it. Our treasury is funny. But I hope we shall make money henceforth to help us fulfil our promises for infrastructure and development of the state. But in terms of what I met in our coffers, my brother, it’s pathetic. Please let us not go there. God will help us,” he said.
Then he went ahead to state that the cash available for the state was about N300 million to N400 million, while the state has a debt of N109 billion. He said however that the fund is the baseline as they would need to look into other contingencies, contractor debts, draw the line and then move on.
The amount in debt for the state means that the new administration is kickstarting its operations with very little capital and an overwhelming debt profile. Whether or not this would affect the execution of the plans of the new governor is up for debate.
The new governor made it clear in the interview that his administration would, first of all, maximize the existing opportunities in the state and that they would be very transparent in their financial dealings and make every government transaction a matter of public record.
About the incident that occurred at his inauguration, between the wife of his predecessor and the former ambassador of Nigeria to Spain, the Governor stated, “It’s not a distraction. It was meant to be, but has no impact on my work in office.”
The Governor however still maintained that his predecessor is an honourable man, stating that he loves Nigeria.
The newly inaugurated Governor is proving himself to be a transparent leader, granting audience to the media and actively engaging his audience on social media platforms.
On the day of the inauguration, he posted an acceptance speech on his Twitter page, a part of which read, “I pledge here again to devote every kobo of your tax money to work for you. This is your government. I am only your employee. I commit to a transparent, accountable, judicious, and impactful use of your tax money.”
The former administration was led by Chief Willie Obiano who tried to exit the country on the day of his handover but was apprehended by the EFCC at the airport on various claims of embezzlement and fraud and was just granted bail today.