Sunday, 15 November 2015

Obi Left N9bn Cash, not N75bn, in the Coffers, Says Anambra Govt

Anambra State government on Saturday addressed the contentious issue of whether the immediate past administration of Mr. Peter Obi left N75 billion in the coffers of the state government while leaving office 19 months ago, saying that he
left N9 billion liquid cash and not the N75 billion being touted.

The former governor had claimed while taking his exit after two terms in office that he kept N75 billion in government coffers for his successor, Chief Willie Obiano. The claim became controversial when some officials of the present Obiano administration tried to dispute it late last year in hushed voices.

But at a media briefing yesterday inside the government house in Awka, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu flanked by other members of the State Executive Council (SEC) said the Obi administration as at March 2014 upon handover had approximately a cash balance of N9.0 billion left in the coffers, while local and foreign investments, refunds and bank balances stood at N75.0 billion.

He said there were equity investments made by the previous administration captured in its handover note which have potential to earn money but are not tradable, while there are yet other assets that are tradable and could be converted to cash but have not.

He also said there were expenses made on counterpart funding which the previous administration made in other to get money from donor agencies and that these monies didn’t yield anything.

Moreover, he said the Obiano administration was yet to assess the $155m foreign currency investment the state made in Eurobonds and other foreign denominated securities held with Access Bank, Fidelity Bank and Diamond Bank and that given the current decline in Nigeria capital markets, this portfolio of Eurobonds had a market value of approximately $132m (N26.4 billion) reflective of prices dated September 21, 2015.

“If Anambra State Government (ANSG) were to liquidate the portfolio, the state would incur a loss of $32m (14.8 per cent) a Naira loss of N100 million, respectively”, he said.

The Obiano administration he said had appointed a reputable investment banking firm named Afrinvest West Africa Limited to optimally manage the investment portfolio.

Chukwulobelu said the Obiano administration inherited a total contract sum for all projects totaling N185.1billion from Obi’s administration, paid N35.1 billion on these inherited projects between March 2014 and August 2015, while the sum of N11.7 billion had been paid for projects initiated by him directly.

He refuted insinuations that it was from the N75 billion left by Obi for his successor that he uses to pay salaries of workers without applying for bailout from Federal government.

He said the feat was rather a fallout of prudent management of the state government’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which rose from N500 million from his assumption of office to N1.5 billion monthly as well as resources from the federation account.


SOURCE

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