Gombe gov’t discredits N432bn debt profile

Gombe State Finance Commissioner Muhammad Magaji has denied owing more than N432 billion, adding that Governor Muhammadu Yahaya’s administration has instead reduced the state’s debt profile from N124 billion inherited from the previous government.

Magaji made the disclosure on Friday night while answering questions shortly after giving the breakdown of the state government’s ‘Continuing Consolidation Budget’ for 2023.

Our correspondent reports that Governor Yahaya previously approved the allocation of 176 billion naira for 2023.

According to Magaji, the state has not borrowed too much and points out that the visible indices show that the government is in order.

He said: “The government is a continuum, we take over the administration and determine whether it is a liability and an asset, we will continue with it until the end of the second term of your excellency Alh. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya. Gombe’s debt profile is on the Debt Management Office website and he is there for all to see.

“Gombe’s debt profile is around N120 billion, you can go and check; it is verifiable. If we tell you that today it is more than 120 billion naira and we inherited 124 billion debts, then where are we, what have we done? He tells you that we haven’t borrowed too much. There have been political problems for which Gombe owes him N432 billion, the figure is not even a third of the figure that is being sold”.

Speaking further, Magaji listed the following indicators, which he said Gombe did not exhibit: “Non-payment of wages; Gombe pays pensions even before we pay salaries. Gombe is paying the tip for the third time in this administration when the tip has not been paid since 2014. The Gombe State contractors have not come out for a day to protest the breach of contractual obligations. Our bankers have not come to say that we owe and do not pay.

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