Anambra governor, Willie Obiano has denied reports that his predecessor, Peter Obi left over N75 billion in the state’s coffers.
Briefing journalists on Saturday, November 14, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, the Secretary to the State Government, described Peter Obi’s claims as untrue.
He said: “The N75 billion was not there; it was not handed over to anybody. At best it can be an half-truth”
The Anambra SSG stated that a total contract sum of N185.1 billion was left behind by Obi’s administration.
Chukwulobelu said it had become imperative to set the record straight, as the N75 billion claims though untrue, was fast gaining ground in the social as well as traditional media.
He said: “In the real sense, what the Obiano administration inherited from Obi was N9 billion cash and N26 billion near cash.
“Based on the figures detailed above, which are taken from the handover notes from the previous administration to the current administration, it is evident that the actual and voluntary cash investments made by the previous administration amounts to approximately N35.5billion consisting of mobilization paid on contracts for shopping malls and hotels, cost of two business parks in Onitsha, investments in Eurobonds, amongst a few others.
“Items such as counterpart funds held jointly with domestic development finance institutions, land contributions, FGN refunds differences in bank balances and investments made directly by the federal government on behalf of the three tiers of government totaling approximately N39.5bliilon have been reclassified as “illiquid investments, FGN receivables and involuntary investments.
“However, to provide a true and fair picture of the state’s net position on March 17, 2014, the investments handover notes ought to have captured current liabilities and contingent liabilities also borne by the previous administration as at the time of handover.
“To put this to context, the total portfolio of inherited projects valued at approximately N185 billion was however not captured in the breakdown of the handover notes.”
However, Peter Obi swiftly gave a rebuttal to this statement through his aide, Valentine Obienyem.
Valentine stated that the position of the governor is a calculated effort to misrepresent and distort facts.
He said: “Obi left over N75 Billion in cash and investment. The breakdown is as follows: N27 billion in local currency investment; N26. 5 billion in foreign currency investment and N28.1 billion in Certified State/ MDS balances.
“Even in the final handover document, Obi deducted N10 billion approved Federal Government refund, as well as the salary, pension, gratuity, money on certificates raised on contracts for the month of March which all amounted to N5 billion before arriving at the balance of over N75 billion he bequeathed his successor.
“As a financial expert, Obi went to his end of tenure event with Gov. Willie Obiano and said all these in the presence of all the bank MDs in whose banks the monies are lodged. In fact, as at March 17th he handed over, he got all the certified statements of Anambra’s accounts from the banks this monies were and handed them over to his successor. If they were confused on where the monies were, why would they not call Obi who kept them to explain the whereabouts to them as much as he knew?”.
“It is curious that the denial came at a time the state government had concluded arrangement to massively borrow money from banks and financial institutions”.