Zamfara faults DMO report, denies borrowing N14.26bn

The Zamfara State Government has refuted a report by the Debt Management Office that it borrowed N14.26 billion.

In the latest sub-national debt – domestic and external debts, which were released by the DMO as of December 30 and June 30, 2023, respectively; PUNCH reports that “for the sub-nationals, Plateau got N16.32bn; Rivers borrowed N7.07bn; Zamfara, N14.26bn; and the FCT under the leadership of Nyesom Wike borrowed N6.75bn from domestic creditors.”

The report added that “Benue, Cross Rivers, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory, got N115.57bn from domestic creditors.”

However, the state government, in a statement issued on Monday by the governor’s spokesperson, Sulaiman Idris, disclosed that the Dauda Lawal-led administration “has never applied for loans or approached the state Assembly or National Assembly for such a request.”

The statement read, “We would like to clarify the Debt Management Office report that the Zamfara State Government borrowed N14.26 billion.

“Zamfara State Government has never applied for loans or approached the state assembly or National Assembly for such a request.

“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 out of the 20 billion loans requested for the Zamfara cargo airport project, though the funds were not utilised.”

Idris noted that “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 Debt Management Office. 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.”

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