Zamfara government denies taking N14.2b loan

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Gusau.
The Zamfara government on Monday denied taking a N14.2 billion loan as indicated in a report by the Debt Management Office (DMO).
A statement issued in Gusau on Monday by Sulaiman Idris, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity, debunked the claim it described as false.
“This is to clarify the DMO report which said that the Zamfara state government borrowed N14.26 billion naira.
“The Zamfara government has never applied for loan or approached the State Assembly or National Assembly with such request,” Idris said.
According to the statement, the sum of 14.26 billion, as stated in the DMO report, was not borrowed by Gov Lawal’s administration.
“The amount was part of the proceeds from a 20 billion naira loan floated by previous administrations in the state.
“No domestic or external loans have been borrowed since Gov Dauda Lawal came in.
“It is important to note that the previous Zamfara state government floated a N20 billion bond but failed to collect the total amount.
“The immediate past government received N4 billion naira out of the N20 billion requested for the Zamfara Cargo Airport project, though the funds were not utilised.
“Upon assuming office, we discovered that the payment terms made terminating the bond impossible without incurring a significant loss for the state.
“The balance of N16 billion out of the N20 billion borrowed by the past administration is the N14.26 billion captured by the DMO. The value is reduced due to inflation.
“The bond balance, which is still in a government account, has not been used and will be reserved for the airport project,” he explained.

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