Economy

Matawalle inherited N252b debts from Yari, says transition chair

Former Zamfara State Governor Abdul Aziz Yari allegedly left N252 billion in debts to Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle, the state’s transition committee chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala, said on Monday.

Wakkala, who is also the immediate past deputy governor to Yari, said the liabilities from the Ministry for Finance stood at N65,361,873,755.75.

The transition committee chairman, who gave the figures yesterday, added that the liabilities accrued to the state Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs were estimated at N35,399,498,154.53.

Wakkala, whose committee was inaugurated by Matawalle, explained that N151,190,477,572.02 was accumulated debt from 462 projects embarked upon by the immediate past administration.

The committee discovered that out of the N2,000,000,000 approved by the previous administration for the payment of backlog of gratuity owed to retired civil servants, only N400 million was paid to retired permanent secretaries.

He added that unremitted National Housing Scheme’s deductions from state civil servants salaries from 2016 to 2019 stood at N1,431,645,305.99.

On education, the former deputy governor said the state owed N2,812,172,155 against examinations  conducted by National Examinations Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEC), West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS)  and tertiary institutions such as Crescent University, Abeokuta, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin and Science Academy, Abuja.

Wakkala said the figures were based on information submitted to his committee by the transition committee inaugurated by Yari’s administration.

He added that officials of various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the last administration would be summoned to explain how the liabilities accrued, stressing that the former governor may be invited to explain if the need arises.

Wakkala said the committee has received and review submissions from various MDAs through various subcommittees consisting of seasoned administrators and technocrats and also from the report of the transition committee of the immediate past administration.

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