Gombe State Commissioner for Finance, Muhammad Magaji, has denied owing over N432 billion, adding that instead, the administration of Governor Muhammadu Yahaya reduced the state’s debt profile from N124 billion inherited from the past government.
Magaji made this disclosure Friday evening while answering questions shortly after giving the breakdown of the state government’s 2023 ‘Budget of Continued Consolidation’.
Our correspondent reports that Governor Yahaya earlier assented to N176 billion for 2023 appropriation.
According to Magaji, the state has not borrowed too much, stressing that visible indices shows the government is in order.
He said, “Government is a continuum, we took over administration and met whether it is as liability and asset, we will continue to run with it till the end the second term of his excellency, Alh. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya. The debt profile of Gombe is on the website of the Debt Management Office and it is there for everyone to see.
“The debt profile of Gombe is just at about N120 billion, you can go and check; it is verifiable. If we are telling you it is 120 plus billion naira today and we inherited 124 billion of debts, so where are we, what have we done? It tells you we have not borrowed too much. There have been political issues that Gombe is owing N432 billion, the figure is not up to one third of the figure peddled around.”
Speaking further, Magaji listed the following as indicators, which he said Gombe did not exhibit: “Failure to pay salaries; Gombe pays pensions even before we pay salaries. Gombe is paying gratuity for the third time in this administration when gratuity has not been paid since 2014. Gombe State contractors have not come out for one day to protest non-payment of contractual obligations. Our bankers have not come to say we are owing and not paying.”