The power tussle in Anambra State took a new leaf after the governor of the state, Mr Willie Obiano denies recklessly spending the money mearnt for development of the state which Peter Obi saved during his tenure.
Gov Obiano’s Government is widely known as “Laba Nmanya Governmnet” due his excessive drinking of alcohol with the state fund even in public places.
Mr Peter Obi through his media aide, Valentine Obienyem, in a statement made available to the press, decried how Obiano squandered the hard earned savings in foreign currency which would have gone a long way in sustaining the development of the State. Valentine Obienyem provided details and listed the areas the money was frittered away to include N5 billion approved by the present administration for the celebration of the first 100 days in office, the N1 billion monthly security vote, hundreds of billions spent for 2014 Christmas decoration and buying of horses and the N40 million to mount the gates at the Government’s Lodge.
Others include N35 million spent to mount the gate at the Government’s House, change of roof at the Government House which gulped N700 million, change of all the tiles in the Government House to pale granite at N150 million, procurement of dining table at N25 million, seats at N50 million, gold bed from the United States at N30 million and another gold bed for the governor’s wife at N25 million.
Giving a further breakdown on how Obiano successfully depleted the N75 billion savings within a short period of time, Obienyem said N40 million was spent on imported kitchen cabinet from the United States, N150 million for musical sets for Aguleri, acquisition and relocation of all lands around the governor’s compound at Aguleri, as well as the increase in Commissioners and Special Advisers pay to over N400,000 monthly as against N190,000 Obi’s administration paid.
Other areas the savings was mismanaged include the increase in salary of Senior Special Assistants from N160,000 to N300,000.
According to the former governor, Obiano had also used more vehicles in less than two years than what his predecessor used in eight years, with the present Secretary to the State Government (SSG) using three Prado SUVs and two Toyota Hilux cars; the Chief of Staff two Prado SUVs and two Toyota Hilux cars and the Principal Secretary using two Prado SUVs and one pickup car.
While saying that there is nothing wrong in government borrowing money to meet its genuine demands, Obienyem dismissed the claim that the Obi administration left debts on contracts executed.
His words: “They said that Obi left N106.2 billion (wrong figure) over hangon contractual debts alone. I challenge them to publish the schedule of the debts and the companies being owed.
“As at the time Obi left office, he paid for all the certificates generated on contracts awarded. Certificates are generated on the basis of work completed. Are they saying Obi ought to pay for contracts yet to be done? The same man saying this awarded 35 fresh roads within his first year in office at the total cost of over N81 billion out of which he has paid N10 billion.
“On the other hand, Obi awarded roads totalling N93 billion in his last year in office and paid a total of over N51 billion on those roads before leaving office. Most of those roads were used to campaign for him during electioneering on the premise of continuity,” the statement said.
On the claim by the present administration that it met only N9 billion cash in the treasury Obienyem said: “ It is shocking to note that the Anambra State government said they only met 9 billion cash in the treasury. The point is that Obi left 37 Billion Naira in the treasury. We have the statements of accounts from the banks as at March 17th, 2014.
Let me illustrate using a few examples.
Fidelity Bank and the money in the account as at 17th March, 2017: account Name: Ministry of Works, No: 5030005514, N2,403,862,359.89; account Name: Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, No: 5030025545, N2,029,706,380.45; account Name: Local Govt Community Development, account No: 5030042391, N1,734,069,061.09; account Name: Government Account, 5030047097, N3,048,355,196.
Diamond Bank: Account Name: Anambra State Subsidy Account, account No: 0026290200, amount N5,126,258,908.72; account name: UBE Matching Grant Account, No: 0031151473, amount N2,101,864,766.68; account name: Anambra State Joint Local Govt, No: 0022404540; amount N3,276,354,490.46.
First Bank: Name of Account: EF/IGR Consolidated Account, no is 2018779464, amount is N2,139,951,400.00. Enterprise Bank, account name is Govt House, Awka, Account no is 1400036138 and Amount is 1,928,596,191.25. The total is N23,789,018,751 (Twenty-Three Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Seven Million, eighteen hundred, Seven hundred and fifty One kobo.”
“It is pertinent to note that two years have gone and Anambra State government is still debating what was left or not, even when other governors that inherited huge debts, unpaid salaries and repayable loans and bonds have all taken off.
“In Obi’s first six months in office, he had already saved enormous money for the state before he was illegally impeached” he added.
Furthermore, according to Obienyem, “As a matter of fact, during his inauguration, Gov. Obiano listed many projects he would undertake, some of which are building an air port, building three power stations, among others.
“He started three flyovers at the initial cost of N5 billion that was later varied to N15 billion. They diverted the money meant for the road, from Amansea to Amawbia round about to three flyovers. The contractor doing those flyovers is owed over N7 billion.
“He also started the construction of three roads to the airport simultaneously. Are these not enough reasons to convince Anambra peo ple on the need to borrow rather than bring Mr. Peter Obi into it?”