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EL-RUFAI DEBT BURDEN: SERAP demands accountability in N5.9trn, $4.6bn loans from state governors

EL-RUFAI DEBT BURDEN: SERAP demands accountability in N5.9trn, $4.6bn loans from state governors

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given an ultimatum to the 36 state governors and the minister of the federal capital territory, Nyesom Wike, to publicly disclose details of N5.9 trillion and $4.6 billion loans obtained by their respective states and the FCT.

The request, contained in a statement by SERAP’s deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, included publishing copies of loan agreements and spending information, including project details and locations financed by the loans.

The call for transparency stems from concerns raised after Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State revealed that the immediate past administration left substantial debt, making it difficult for the state to meet salary obligations.

READ ALSO: How El-Rufai’s huge debt burden hampered salary payment in Kaduna – Governor

SERAP emphasized that Nigerians have the right to know how public funds, including loans, are being utilized by state governments. The organization highlighted the importance of accountability, corruption prevention, and trust-building in democratic institutions through transparent financial management.

The statement noted that Nigeria’s Debt Management Office reported a total public domestic debt of N5.9 trillion and a public external debt of $4.6 billion for the country’s states and the FCT.

Kaduna debt burden saga

While addressing a town hall meeting in Kaduna on Saturday, the governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani had said he inherited a huge debt burden of $587m, N85bn and 115 contractual liabilities from the El-Rufai administration.

He said the huge debt burden was eating deep into the state’s federal allocation.

READ ALSO: Bandits sack 10 Kaduna communities

The governor explained that N7bn out of the N10bn federal allocation for the state in March was deducted to service the state’s debt.

He further lamented that the state was left with N3bn, an amount he said was not enough to pay salaries, as the state’s monthly salary bill stands at N5.2 billion.

El-Rufai’s son’s reaction

But in a series of posts via X, Bahir El-Rufai, one the sons of the former Kaduna State governor, Nasir E-Rufai accused Governor Sani of surrounding himself with “incompetent aides appointed for political patronage.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s telecom firms wince over 52 taxes, USSD debt

Bashir said instead of admitting its incompetence, the current administration resorted to deflecting by raising alarm on a debt burden inherited from the El-Rufai administration.

Defence for Gov Sani

But defending the governor, Comrade Ahmadu stated that there is nothing wrong with Governor Uba Sani revealing the state of debt left by his predecessor.

“What is wrong is inability of the former Governor’s son to comprehend the rationale behind the disclosure to public,” he stated.

“His vituperation are unguarded, stupid and unacceptable , especially when the man involved has helped the family during hard times og political waves. Was is it wrong for Governor Uba Sani to address Kaduna citizens at a town hall meeting he governor had said he inherited a huge debt burden that was eating deep into the state’s federal allocation.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo’s Nigeria’s most successful president economic-wise – El-Rufai

“For us, as Kaduna citizens of the State, we can’t accept a situation, where N7bn out of the N10bn federal allocation for the state in March was deducted to service the state’s debt. And for an ill-trained son of a former Governor of state to attack the incumbent Governor is unacceptable in all sense of decorum. Bashir should bury his head in shame.”

Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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