*Chides gov over N8bn wastage on discounts
Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Ifeanyi Ubah has given Governor Willie Obiano 72hours ultimatum to open up on the N25billion promissory notes collected by his administration from the Debt Management Office, DMO
in 2018 and 2019, respectively as reimbursement for projects executed on behalf of the federal government in the state or risk legal action that would compel him to do so.
The state government through the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba, had denied that it “has not raised any money from the Debt Management Office or the Federal Ministry of Finance under a bond, or any financial instrument from any institution or organization.”
“Our record of prudent financial management and integrity is well acknowledged far and near. It is tough to speculate how the senator came about the phantom N25billion bond which Anambra State purportedly raised surreptitiously from the DMO/Federal Ministry of Finance,” Adinuba added in a statement issued last week in Awka, the state capital.
But Senator Ubah, who was armed with facts duly signed by the Director-General of DMO, Patience Oniha and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, told journalists at the weekend in Abuja that the N25, 244, 306, 091.90 is expected to be paid in two instalments, lamenting that N16.1billion only was actually paid the state government having wasted N8, 850, 000, 000 as total discounts for the transactions.
“The governor paid banks over N8billion in order to cash out the promissory notes before their maturity dates, thereby ensuring that Anambra lost the amount from the transactions,” he said.
According to the documents obtained from the DMO by the lawmaker following his request for a copy, amount, and tenor of the promissory notes, the sum of N10, 097, 722, 436.90 was issued to the state government on December 28, 2018, but would mature on December 28 this year as the first instalment while N15, 146, 583, 655.00 as the second instalment billed for maturity on April 1, 2022, was issued on April 1, 2019.
“The Distinguished Senator may wish to be informed that these were the only promissory notes issued to Anambra State Government which fully settled the outstanding claims of the state as approved by the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly,” the DMO boss stated in a response letter to the lawmaker with reference number DMO/PMD/598/S.4/III/881 and dated November 16, 2020.
But Senator Ubah further alleged that “in order for Governor Obiano to cash out on the N25billion that hasn’t matured, he had to terminate the deal by given up 15% of the total sum per annum.”
This, he explained means that “the governor paid about N3billion in bank charges for N10billion on the first promissory note which has a tenor of two years and paid another N4.5billion on the N15billion for the second promissory note which has a tenor of three years.”
The lawmaker, however, vowed to petition the state House of Assembly after which he would sue the governor if he fails to open up on the bond and give Ndi Anambra South their own portion of the money as a refund for damaged roads rehabilitated by them in the district.
He argued that “the road projects for which the N25billion was collected were executed by the administrations of Governors Chris Ngige and Peter Obi on behalf of the federal government as part of their infrastructural development of Anambra State.”
Senator Ubah also informed that Obiano used the Federal Commissioner for Works in the state to stop him from rehabilitating some damaged roads in his constituency while the governor has also refused to pay attention to the roads to date.
He, however, wondered why the government failed to capture the bond in the budget, why he collected funds for works not done by his administration, what he did with the balance after making the state to lose a whooping sum of N8billion as discounts and why he lied through his commissioner about the promissory notes.