Government

NBS Overestimated Abia State Debt Profile – State Finance Commissioner

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The Executive Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has borrowed a total of N24 billion for the state in the 11 month he’s spent as the state Governor.

The breakdown of the amount borrowed consist of a N14.1 billion bail-out fund and another N10 billion which according to government sources was for infrastructural development.

The disclosure came as a result of the claim by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, that the state’s debt profile was as high as N78 billion.

The Abia State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku, while reacting to the NBS’s statistics which placed the state as the 5th highest indebted state in the country said the data on which the Bureau processed it’s figures was inaccurate.

He added that: “Well, I am yet to see the document. I totally disagreed with the figures they are mentioning and our rating. If I heard you right, you mentioned N78billion, it is totally unacceptable and I doubt where they got that from.

“Though government is a continuum, from the period we took over, I want to believe that these figures are wrong. For what we got as bailout was N14.1billion, what we got of course was uniform to every state. What we got from the excess crude was N10 billion which makes a total of N24 billion.

“This is the major make up of our debt, then of course, this does not exclude other little debts by way of foreign loans incurred by the last administration or during the period we were at the old Imo State.

“As I talk to you, we have engaged a team of consultants that are working on reconciling those figures with the DMO and they have made substantial progress.Any moment from now, we will be engaging the DMO based on the deductions from the Federal Allocation Account.

“I strongly believe that at the end of the engagement, we will have some more funds that will be rededicated to us. We have fully extinguished those foreign loans. If I am looking at that figure, it is totally unacceptable, however, like I told you, I am yet to see the document then we will know the make-up” Oriaku said.

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