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Opinion

Governor Uba Sani And The Burden Of Debts -By Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua

When governor Uba Sani’s administration was inaugurated on 29 May,2023, the question on the lips of many people in the state is whether the new governor will be able to fit the big shoe his predecessor left for him or not. The eight years of Malam Nasiru El-rufai’s was dogged by controversial arising from his local governments reforms in which thousands of civil servants were sacked, demolition policies that witnessed the pulling down of many structures that were considered illegal and above all insecurity plaguing the state. After the successful handover, Uba Sani’s government was slowly kickstarted in comparison with others states where there were changed of hands. Little surprise, the governor turned to a frequent visitor of Abuja. His inability to stay in office amidst pressing state’s matters has pitched him against people he is being governed. The governor was nicknamed Abuja governor because he barely spend two days in office.

 On Saturday, last week, the governor during a town hall meeting with stakeholders, raised an alarm that his administration inherited a huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the previous administration, making it difficult for him to pay workers’ salaries. He explained that N7billion out of the N10billion Federal Allocation due to the State in the month of March was deducted to service the debt. With this shocking revelation from governor Uba Sani, one can understand the reason why he hardly stays in the state. By this statement, the governor is indirectly saying, Kaduna state is cash-trapped with little or nothing left to run the government.. For Kaduna state government to be serving 7billions public debt monthly, it will become very difficult to meet up with its financial obligations. Before the 2023 general elections that produced governor Uba Sani, Malam Nasiru El-rufai, blow his own trumpet on how he cut off the cost of government through restructuring and improving the state’s revenues for optimum performances.

Unfortunately, what Kaduna state people witnessed since El-rufai left office contradicted his much-talked reforms and the acclaimed gains. While El-rufai deserves a pat on his back for the urban renewal programs spread across Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan towns, the loans he incurred or collected to implement those projects need more explanation. With the state being insolvent, what will Uba Sani do to change this ugly narrative? Will governor Uba Sani use his power to summon the ex-governor to explain how the loans were spent? Will he collect another loans or improve the state’s revenue generation?  Governor Uba Sani’s rattling has received heavy knock from different angles. For instance, Bashir El-rufai, son of the former governor, through his tweeter countered the allegations against his father. He described Uba Sani as incompetent and being surrounded by incompetent aides. Other people wonder how it takes governor Uba Sani this long to reveal the truth financial position of the state. Besides, he is being accused for facilitating the loans when he was the Senator representing the state in 9th assembly.

 The cool political war which is brewing  in the state between El-rufai and governor Uba Sani should be tamed for peace, unity and development of the state. The APC stakeholders should quickly intervene, call the duo to a negotiating table and prevail on them to sheath their swords. Unless the festering impasse is fully resolved, their political allies may likely exploit the misunderstanding and fuel it to the dangerous level. This unhealthy development will slow the pace of socio-economic development of the state. 

Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna state. 08169056963.

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