The new governor of Anambra State southeast of Nigeria, Charles Soludo, who succeeded ex-governor Willie Obiano has disclosed that he met “about N300 to N400 million” in the state treasury but inherited about N109 billion debt when he assumed office.
Mr Soludo stated this when he appeared on an interview on Arise TV on Tuesday. when
The governor confessed that the state’s finances were not robust, but that his administration would not be daunted by the situation.
“Everybody knows that the state finances are not quite robust, to put it mildly. The cash we met in various banks, if I remember correctly, I think N300 or N400 million, and then from the audited account as at (of) December, 2021, the debts (was) about N109 billion,” he said.
Meanwhile, ex-governor Willie Obiano was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos on Thursday evening, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as he was about to travel to the United States. He has been detained by the anti-graft agency since then, based on investigations linking him to a N42 billion graft while in office.
Governor Soludo, however, reaffirmed his commitment to emplacing a transparent public financial management in the state to monitor the state’s treasury.
“We intend to have a very transparent public financial management where we are going to be publishing everything. Everybody will know what is there and what is not there, what penny comes in and what it is used for,” he said.
The governor also reiterated his resolve to grow the Anambra economy, by building faith in local products and content.
“You will not get to Europe and find any European government using or buying Japanese Toyota for the operations of their police or for their president or officers. That government will come down the next day.
“That’s how you create jobs. Can you imagine 215 million people patronising textiles that were made here? You are going to create tens of thousands of jobs, in fact millions of jobs,” he said.
He said he would encourage the makers of local products in the state to proudly brand their products made-in-Anambra, rather than stamping names of foreign brands on their products to boost patronage.