‘Anambra Govt Operated 387 Bank Accounts Before Obiano Came’ – SSG Says Gov Has Made State Richer

‘Anambra Govt Operated 387 Bank Accounts Before Obiano Came’ – SSG Says Gov Has Made State Richer

The economy of Anambra State has grown from N2.7trn in 2014 to N4.17trn in the six years of Governor Willie Obiano’s reign, says Prof Osita Solomon
Chukwulobelu, the secretary to the government of Anambra State.

Chukwulobelu, a professor of education, said Anambra State, under Obiano, was a lot better than it was in 2014. Speaking at the weekly media forum in Awka, yesterday, Chukwulobelu said, “The state IGR was chaotic. We all know the story. He set about reforming it. When we came in, it was N450-475m a month. Today the average is about N2bn. The former administration operated about 387 bank accounts owned by the state. I was in the committee chaired by Honourable Ifeatu Onojeme that closed those accounts because money was missing everywhere. So, he has reformed that.”

He said the state, under Obiano, implemented Treasury Single Account before the federal government knew about TSA. Throwing a challenge to critics of the Obiano administration to square up with him in an open debate, Prof Chukwulobelu said, “I,’ll be happy to have a debate with those who feel that Obiano has not done well. Facts will speak for themselves. This administration does not embark on a project without thinking of how to sustain it. The streetlights started four years ago, are they not still working? When the next governor comes, he will make his own choices. Political economy is all about choices and priorities.”

Prof Chukwulobelu expressed surprise that some people questioned the wisdom of building the Anambra Airport when the money set aside for the project should have been saved for posterity. He said, “I tell them that that is asset swapping. You are swapping cash for a major asset. And that major asset continues to yield revenue. If you keep cash, it will be affected by inflation, exchange rate depreciation and the rest of them. But the airport is a strategic investment. Some development
partners cannot visit Anambra because there is no airport in the state. Some people will not come here because there is no airport in the state. So, it is a strategic investment by Governor Obiano.”

Prof Chukwulobelu also used the opportunity to clear the air on the confusion about whether the Obiano administration inherited any debts from the administration it succeeded. In his words, “If you look at programmes like SEPIP and NEWMAP which are done using World Bank facilities, those are credits that the previous administration actually entered into. If you go to DMO, they will give you the debt profile of Anambra State. It is still the lowest indebted state in the country, but the DMO will show you how far back those debts are dated. So, did Obiano inherit debts? The answer is ‘yes,’ because there were SPOs that were already signed and the deductions were going through.”

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‘Anambra Govt Operated 387 Bank Accounts Before Obiano Came’ – SSG Says Gov Has Made State Richer

Credit: thewhistler.ng

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