Kaduna gov laments inability to pay salary, says El-Rufai left $587 million, N85 billion debt

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State has lamented the huge debt inherited from his predecessor, Nasir El-Rufai when he took over power on May 29, 2023.

Sani said Kaduna state is now left with a few amounts, not enough to pay the salaries of workers.

The governor disclosed this while addressing a town hall meeting at the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Hall, Kaduna.

He added that his administration inherited a total of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contract liabilities from the ex-governor.

He, however, said he had yet to borrow money in the last nine months of his government, adding that the huge debt burden was affecting the state’s Federal Allocation.

The governor stressed that due to the rise in the exchange rate, he was paying back almost triple of what was borrowed by the administration of Nasir El-Rufai.

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He noted that N7 billion out of the N10 billion Federal Allocation for the state in March was used to service debt.

The governor stated further that the state was left with N3 billion, an amount which he said was not enough to pay salary as the state monthly wage bill stands at N5.2 billion.

He, however, assured the people of the state that his administration remained determined in steering the state towards progress and sustainable development, as the government has conducted a thorough assessment of the situation and was sharpening its focus accordingly.

He said, “Despite the huge debt burden of $587m, N85bn, and 115 Contractual Liabilities sadly inherited from the previous administration, we remain resolute in steering Kaduna State towards progress and sustainable development. We have conducted a thorough assessment of our situation and are sharpening our focus accordingly.

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“It gladdened my heart to inform you that despite the huge inherited debt on the state to date, we have not borrowed a single kobo. The key priority areas of our government include safety and security, housing, education, healthcare, and support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). We are also prioritising inclusive development by investing in human capital, stimulating the economy, and providing affordable housing.”

On security, he said the state has made a lot of progress through revamping the state Vigilance Service by recruiting 7,000 additional personnel for the service while over 100 operational vehicles and 100 motorcycles have been procured for distribution to KADVS and the federal security agencies working in the state.

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Speaking on education, the governor said, apart from the establishment of several skills and vocational cities to address skills deficits in the state, his administration in collaboration with Kuwait was working to reduce out-of-school children in Kaduna by 200,000.

The governor also said that despite the numerous challenges confronting the state, “our collective efforts are essential for Kaduna State’s progress. We aspire to make rural living enjoyable and transform Kaduna into a premier business hub. Our ultimate goal is to rebuild trust and foster peace and harmony.”

Also speaking, a former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martins Luther Agwai (retd.), called for concerted efforts to address the security challenges facing the state, noting that without peace and security, no meaningful development could be achieved in the state.

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