Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule has raised alarm that he inherited huge debt from previous administration that is affecting the smooth running of his government.
He explained that tough times await the people of the state next year as revenue accruing to the state keep dwindling.
He regretted that huge sums of money was being deducted at source monthly by the federal government as bailout, budget support facility and infrastructure loan the previous government took.
Governor Sule stated this at two different occasions recently, the retreat for new commissioners in Akwanga Local Government Area and when he played host to speakers of legislative councils in the 13 Local Government Areas at the Government House Lafia.
Our correspondent gathered that the immediate past government under Umaru Tanko Al-Makura received N8.9bn bailout from the federal government in September 2015.
The same Al-Makura government took another loan from the federal government to the tune of about N800m to pay salaries and another N10bn loan from excess crude account to develop infrastructures in the state.
Governor Sule expressed worries that the deductions of this three different loans are coming at the time he is committed to paying 100% salaries and pensions as well as the federal government implementation of N30,000 minimum wage.
According to him, the way things are going, the revenue Nasarawa will get next year will be worse than what we will get from the federation account this year.
“The reason is that the previous government took budget support facility to the tune of about N800m and the whole idea was to pay salaries, in 2015 the state took another loan called bailout and there was another N10bn loan from excess crude account.
“So at the end of the day, we have three facilities that were taken, we are paying them back now starting from September 2019 and it will continue, that is why I said let us face realities, the revenue coming in will be lower and there are deductions already,” he said
The Governor explained that governing the state at the moment required enormous sacrifice, noting that he has develop a template to cut down cost of governance to the barest minimum.
Retain Presidency, Create Crisis In Nigeria
Ahead of the 2023 Presidency, the South-South elders have said that there will be a crisis that could tear the country apart if the North should insist on retaining the office of the President after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
The South-South Elders also said that it was logical and fair to allow the zone to produce the President four another for years so as to complete its second tenure.
Speaking to newsmen interview in Abuja, weekend, the National Coordinator of South-South Elders Forum, His Highness, Anabs Sara Igbe said that the zone was better placed in the South to clinch the Presidency in 2023.
He argued that the North may not be comfortable to support South East candidate for now because of the civil war experience where millions of the Igbo were gruesomely murdered, adding that Ndigbo were still bitter over the alleged marginalization of the zone.
He also claimed that the North will not support the South West judging from the position of the Miyetti Allah on the recently launched security outfit by the South West. Sara Igbe, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said that the South-South will be the stabilizing force in the country and would make the South-East feel at home.
2023: APC Chief Hails Gowon’s Stand On Igbo Presidency
The Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Mr Ostia Okechukwu, has commended General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) for backing the South-East for the 2023 presidency.
In an interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, Gowon said there was no problem if power shifted to the South-East in 2023.
He was the leader of the country during the war which ended in 1970.
Okechukwu said in a telephone interview with our source in Abuja on Saturday that the ex-Head of State’s position was inspiring.
The All Progressives Congress chieftain said, “I commend our elder statesman General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) for his support for power shift to the South-East in 2023.
“In league with others, one pledges that a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction will engender unity, harmony, equity and natural justice in our dear fatherland.
“Indeed the goal of unity was achieved without doubt by this model of rotation of the presidency from the South to North – the Falae/Obasanjo Model – which not only featured in 1999, although governed the 2007 and 2015 presidential elections outcome.”
Okechukwu said Gowon had always placed national interest above pecuniary interest.
The VON DG said, “The rotation or zoning convention was founded by patriots who placed national interest above self-interest, not the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party). The PDP was just a beneficiary as the contest in 1999 was between the defunct AD/APP (Alliance for Democracy/All Peoples Party) alliance.
“Please one is not saying that the rotation convention is the only position best in the democratic horizon, but as Gowon noted, one of the best and a solution provider.”
He added, “I stand with Gowon that rotation is the ligament that holds the various tendencies together, gives a sense of belonging, especially when all the geopolitical zones have highly qualified men and women.
”For the avoidance of doubt, rotation was well perfected in 1999, with the Falae/Obasanjo model and since then, the presidency has rotated between the South and North.
“The South-East is the only geopolitical zone in the southern belt that has not presided over Nigeria since 1999 when the zoning convention commenced.
“It is with nostalgia that one recalls when Olusola Saraki, Abubakar Rimi, Umaru Shinkafi, Adamu Ciroma, Alex Ekwueme of blessed memory and a host of other northerners and southerners like Ogbonnaya Onu, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu were persuaded not to run.
“These eminently qualified personalities were prevailed upon by Nigerian patriots to sacrifice their presidential ambitions for unity, peace and justice, hence the beginning of the zoning convention.
Anambra South: Ifeanyi Ubah Faults Judegment, Files Appeal
Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and candidate of Young Progressives Party (YPP), has filed an appeal against Friday’s judgment by the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Bwari, which removed him from the Senate.
Justice Bello Kawu, had in his ruling sacked Ubah and ordered that Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should replace him.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Ubah who described the judgment as a “mere distraction,” said he has gone further to file an injunction for stay of execution on the judgment pending the determination of my appeal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
“I have appealed against the judge’s refusal to set aside the judgment. I have also filed an injunction for stay of execution. I have absolute confidence that the Court of Appeal will do justice and set aside the judgment,” he said.
Ubah who currently represents Anambra South, however, picked holes in the judgment on multiple grounds.
“First was that the FCT High Court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to entertain a matter that arose from Anambra South Senatorial Election Primaries,” he said.
He said the mischief of filing the case against him in Abuja and not in Anambra was to ensure that the defendant (him) and even Chris Uba of the PDP were not aware of the proceedings.
“In fact, Chris Uba filed an application asking the court to be joined as he was the authentic candidate of the PDP as confirmed by INEC,” he said.
The lawmaker said the FCT High Court also lacked the jurisdiction as the matter in question was a post-election matter already settled at the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal that gave him victory against the authentic candidate of the PDP, Chris Uba.
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