Posted by News Express | 24 March 2022 | 759 times
By TINA TIMOTHY
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has lamented that the outgone administration of Wille Obiano in Anambra State has made things difficult for the newly inaugurated government of Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo b brazenly looting the state’s resources.
Intersociety made the lamentation in a press statement issued in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 and signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair; Chinwe Umeche Esquire, Head, Democracy and Governance and Chidimma Udegbunam Esquire, Head, Campaign and Publicity.
It praised Governor Soludo “for exhibiting ‘courage and boldness in disclosing to the world in general and People of Anambra State and Nigerians in particular the state of finances, debts and other contingent liabilities inherited from the out-gone Governor of the State, William Obiano.” This, according to, Intersociety, vindicates the group because Soludo’s disclosure corroborated its special report released in Enugu on March 18, 2022 regarding the former governor’s lavish spending and looting of Anambra resources.
The statement, issued as Obiano was granted bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which detained him for six days for alleged corruption, reads: “The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law-INTERSOCIETY is deeply thankful to the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo for his courage and boldness in disclosing to the world in general and People of Anambra State and Nigerians in particular the state of finances, debts and other contingent liabilities inherited from the out-gone Governor of the State, William Obiano. These, the new Executive Governor boldly and courageously disclosed yesterday, 22nd March 2022 during his live interview by the Arise Television monitored in Awka. It is shocking and disheartening that the former Governor and members of his cabinet almost grounded and dried up the State’s treasury and bequeathed the State with huge statutory and non-statutory debts and liabilities. Gov Soludo had in the interview monitored and analyzed by Intersociety disclosed that “the state of finances he inherited was not robust and that only N300M or N400M cash was left for him, in addition to statutory debts of over N100B and undisclosed contingent liabilities including contractors’ debts running into (estimated hundreds) of billions of naira”. The Gov also promised to audit and make public the state finances, debts and other contingent liabilities particularly from January to 17th March 2022.
“Anambra State under Obiano was so dried up and emptied that the new Government can hardly function in terms of overhead costs and governance basics. This is not to talk of meeting up its statutory obligations to the State active and retired workforce with regard to “March 2022 Wage Bills”. But for the State allocations being expected from the Federation Account, for month of February shared in March, there would have been an industrial crisis or labour strike of unquenchable proportion, capable of grounding democratic governance in the State to a halt. It is disbelieving that a State with monthly wage bills running into billions of naira could be bequeathed with such paltry cash deposits of N300M-N400M, less than 10% of its March 2022 wage bill. This is also much lower than N13.5B cash left by court ousted former Gov Ngige in March 2006 and Peter Obi’s whopping N75B in March 2014.
“Intersociety Is Vindicated
“It is recalled that Intersociety had in its special report released in Enugu on 18th March 2022 statistically disclosed that: under Obiano, over N1.61trillion was generated and lavishly spent, N1trillion lost to criminal state agents and their revenue collectors in criminal toll collections (with only N240B deposited into State coffers out of N1.24trillion supposedly generated as IGRs), tens (if not hundreds) of billions of naira contract debts and retirees unpaid emoluments undisclosed, N101billion lost to police, military and paramilitary roadblock extortion and criminal bail fees. It was further disclosed that Ngige left cash of N13.5B, total statutory debts of over N40B, completed contracts’ debt of over N35B and active and retired workforce remunerations and emoluments of over N35B majorly inherited since 1992. Peter Obi, on his part, was found to have left total cash of N75B, statutory debts of N12.2B, almost zero active and retired workforce pay arrears, zero contractors’ debts and over N27B investments in eighteen quoted companies within and outside Anambra State, in addition to several multibillion naira foreign investments including INTAFAT Breweries (makers of Hero Beer). The special report also disclosed that under Obiano’s watch, two multibillion naira attracted foreign investments; namely: INTAFAT Breweries (from South Africa) and Golden Oil Ltd (from India) flipped off the State to Ogun and Enugu States. Part of former Gov Obiano’s lavish spending not captured in the special report was tens of billions of naira refunded by the Federal Government for a number of federal roads done by the Obi Government.”
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