Anambra Governor, Senator Ubah in faceoff over N25bn promissory notes

•You can't discount public fund — Senator Ubah•Your claim is spurious — Governor Obiano

The N25billion promissory notes issued to the Anambra State Government by the Debt Management Office is the cause of a cold war between the Anambra State Governor,  Willie Obiano and  a Senator representing Anambra South on the platform of the Young People’s Party, Ifeanyi Ubah.

Checks revealed that the promissory notes were issued by the DMO in December 2018 and April 2019, respectively to the tune of N25billion.

Further checks revealed that both  Promissory Notes issued in 2018 and 2019 were reimbursement to State Government for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

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The former and the latter with maturity dates of December 28, 2020 and April 1, 2022 were  to the tune of N10.097 billion and N15.146 billion respectively. 

Addressing newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, Senator Ubah accused Governor Obiano of discounting the N25billion Promissory Notes to the tune of N9billion in certain banks in order to cash out the money ahead of the maturity dates. 

The Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Upstream)  further alleged that the Anambra State Governor had since collected the sum of N16billion, instead of N25billion.

He said: “The question is why did Obiano discount Anambra money. What did he do with the cash realised?”

Senator Ubah gave Governor Obiano 72 hours to provide convincing explanation to the people of Anambra State on what was done with the money or face court action.

Anambra  State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, has however dismissed Senator Ubah’s claim as spurious.

In a statement issued  in Awka, the state capital, Honourable Adinuba said  the  fact that the state government collected promissory notes was an open secret. 

He said: “Given the fact that the Federal Ministry of Finance did not have the cash to settle the debts, it opted for promissory notes.

The amounts and proceeds of the promissory notes are captured clearly in the report of the Accountant General with financial statements for the year ended 31st December, 2019.”

He maintained that the money in question was neither a loan nor a bond.  

According to him, before a bond could be issued for a state government in Nigeria, the state House of Assembly, the Debt Management Office, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission must be involved, adding that every bit of the transaction must not only be transparent but also be public knowledge.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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