Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has given the local debt profile his administration inherited from the past government at N59.6 billion (N59,585,637,336.62).
The governor added the indebtedness was at May 29th, 2019, his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye told The Nation exclusively in Ilorin, the state capital.
Ajakaye added as at December 2018, the new administration inherited a sum of N48.6 million (N48,599,040.43) as foreign loan also bequeathed by the past administration.
AbdulRazaq had earlier revealed that Universal Basic Education
Commission (UBEC) blacklisted the state because immediate Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed government mismanaged the N1.5 billion grant meant to upgrade schools in Kwara in 2013.
This, according to the government, necessitated the ban placed on Kwara state by UBEC in accessing grant from the commission.
But the former governor Ahmed refuted claims his administration mismanaged UBEC counterpart funds.
Ahmed’s spokesman, Dr Muyideen Akorede, absolved former Governor Ahmed’s administration of any wrongdoing regarding the management of UBEC funds.
He maintained that the federal agency essentially cancelled a N2 billion grant to the state when the government borrowed from UBEB its 50 percent cent counterpart fund of N1.5 billion for the payment of salaries at the height of the 2015 economic recession which prevented most states in Nigeria from meeting salary obligations to workers.
But Governor AbdulRazaq said: ”we regret to say that the last administration cannot be forgiven for the criminal neglect of the schools because the consequences are there for all to see.”
He added that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s response to the outrage greeting the diversion of N1.5 UBEC funds has raised more questions on the sordid neglect of public schools under him.
He said that Ahmed’s statement that claims that funds weren’t diverted or mismanaged hold no water in the face of revelations from UBEC and the decrepit state of the schools.
The government said the mismanagement is apparent in Kwara ranking 37th — or the lowest — on the list of UBEC Matching Grant Disbursement Performance as at April 30, 2019.
The government said Ahmed’s claim that his government used the N1.5 billion to pay workers’ salary was untenable and fishy for an administration that received N22 billion Paris Club refund and additional N3.4b billion bailout funds that were meant to help states pay workers when federal allocation dropped.
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