Kaduna 8bn leftover: Nasir El-Rufai dismisses former Gov Ramalam Yero’s claim

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Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el Rufai, and his immediate predecessor, Muktar Ramalan Yero, are at loggerheads over the N8 billion said to have been left in the treasury for the new administration.

The El Rufai administration said yesterday that it was untrue that the administration of former Governor Yero left N8 billion in the state treasury as working fund for the new government.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, disputed the recent claim by the immediate past Deputy Governor Audu Bajoga that they actually left N8 billion.

He said, “I am here to dismiss the claim by the former deputy governor of our state, Mr. Nuhu Bajoga, that the last government left over N8 billion as working money in the accounts of Kaduna State Government.

“Mukhtar Ramalan Yero’s government actually left the state in deficit.” El Rufai’s spokesman said, “Kaduna State Government had N228,333,371.67 in its central account on 29 May, 2015. This represents the working capital that could be spent. All other items in the bank balance are committed funds, and are not available to be spent by government. These include counterpart and reserve funds clearly earmarked for specific purposes such as MDGs, SUBEB, Sure-P and state pensions.”

Aruwan stated that, “It is pretty disingenuous to infer that a state that is in obvious dire straits has robust finances or to conclude that N8 billion on paper is available in reality. “The Mukhtar Ramalan Yero government that Bajoga served also incurred outstanding liabilities of N370 million by May 2015; that effectively leaves the state in deficit as the working capital of slightly over N228 million cannot cover the liability.”

Also, he said, “Kaduna State Government’s verification processes are still ongoing, as poor record keeping and deliberate attempts to conceal information about the exact financial status of the state have hindered the pace of work of the finance sub-committee of our Transition Committee. “Once the verification process is concluded, the governor will address the state on the financial state of affairs, and will invite anyone with contrary evidence to disprove the analysis.”

He said as a consequence of the government’s conviction that the state is broke, “it has decided to cut costs and focus the state’s resources on priority areas. That is why it has restructured ministries and cut the number of political appointees. “The merchants of division who thrive in reading sectional motives to policy decisions will not deter this government from committing funds to building schools, hospitals and roads and providing security around the state.”

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