Zamfara Governor, Dauda Lawal Denies Borrowing 14.26bn

Zamfara Governor, Dauda Lawal Denies Borrowing 14.26bn
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The Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal has denied that his administration borrowed the sum of 14.26 billion. He clarified that the money was part of the proceeds from a 20 billion naira loan floated by the previous administration in the state.

A statement by the spokesperson of the governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, revealed that no domestic or external loans have been borrowed since Mr Lawal assumed office as governor of the state.

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“We would like to clarify the Debt Management Office (DMO) report that the Zamfara State Government borrowed N14.26 billion naira.

“Zamfara State Government has never applied for loans or approached the State Assembly or National Assembly for such a request.

“It is important to note that the previous Zamfara State government floated a N20 billion bond but failed to collect the total amount.

“The immediate past government received N4 billion naira out of the 20 billion loans requested for the Zamfara cargo airport project, though the funds were not utilised.

“Upon assuming office, we discovered that the payment terms made terminating the bond impossible without incurring a significant loss for the state.

“The balance of N16 billion Naira out of the N20 billion borrowed by the past administration is the N14.26 billion captured by the Debt Management Office (DMO). The value is reduced due to inflation.

“The bond balance, which is still in a government account, has not been used and will be reserved for the airport project,”

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the spokesperson pointed out.

The DMO recently published domestic debt profile data of states covering the period, June to December 2023.

The report listed six states as those whose debt profile had increased within the hlf year period. The states are Katsina, Niger, Rivers, Zamfara, Plateau, and Cross Rivers.

According to the DMO report, Zamfara State borrowed N14.26 billion in the review period, thereby increasing the state’s domestic debt to N110.57 billion, from N96.31 billion. But Mr Idris explained that the current Zamfara State government under Governor Lawal had not borrowed any money since its advent on May 29, 2024 adding that the loan referred by the DMO was contracted by the immediate past government in the state.

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