Kano Deputy Governor, Ganduje differ over N300bn debt

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The Kano state Deputy Governor, Aminu Gwarzo, has disclosed that the New Nigeria Peoples Party-led administration inherited over N300 billion from the immediate past government of Abdullahi Ganduje.

According to Gwarzo, Ganduje’s government left nothing but huge debt on the ground for the incumbent governor, Abba Yusuf.

He also added that the state government’s debt management office was still in the process of assessing the debt profile of the state under the former governor, who is now the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.

These were disclosed by the Deputy Governor at the North-West zonal meeting of the NNPP which was held in Kaduna.

Gwarzo further noted that on Yusuf’s assumption of office, the governor had to tackle the issue of unpaid salaries, adding that he cleared the full salaries of the workers in the state’s workforce, as he addressed other challenges bedeviling them.

The Deputy Governor assured party members and supporters at the event that the NNPP would not disappoint the good people of the state.

He also highlighted the efforts of the current state government in managing available resources judiciously in the state.

He said, “Upon assuming office, Governor Abba Yusuf ordered the full payment of salaries. Prior to our administration, people’s salaries were severely deducted.

“Furthermore, due to Governor Yusuf’s compassion, starting this month, the state will be disbursing retirement gratuities, especially the death benefits to families of deceased retirees. The first beneficiaries will be those from levels one to six, as they are junior staff who have suffered the most.

“We have allocated N6 billion for this purpose. The screening process is underway, and by the end of this month, many people will receive their death benefits and gratuities. This initiative will continue, and our goal is to clear all outstanding gratuities within the next two years.

“We came into office inheriting a government that left us with nothing but debt. Initially, it was N300 billion, but now it is approaching N500 billion and we are still counting. Once we complete the assessment, we will inform Nigerians especially our fellow Kano residents about the total debt left behind.”

Reacting to the statement made by Gwarzo, Kano’s former Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Garba, stated that borrowing was not a crime.

Garba stated that he could not confirm if such an amount was borrowed by the previous administration.

He said, “I cannot say for a fact if we did take that but the issue of loans is normal and not a crime. So, if we took a loan of N300 billion, even if it is way more than that, as far as the money was utilised for the state, there should be no problem.

“You can see the infrastructure that they met on the ground when they got into power. That entire infrastructure was put in place by our administration.

“They are also taking loans in billions now. They just got approval for some loans and that tells you that they are already in debt.

“With the way Nigeria’s economy is going, before the end of their administration, I can assure you that they’ll take loans over N1 trillion.”