By Vincent Ujumadu – Awka
Anambra State government has denied receiving N25 billion bond from the Debt Management Office, DMO, describing as bizarre a statement credited to the Senator representing Anambra South, Senator Ifeanyi that the state government secretly raised the bond without the knowledge of the national assembly.
The said bond was said to be for the failed federal roads which the state government either rehabilitated or reconstructed.
The State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, in a statement in Awka said he was not aware of anywhere in the world where a bond could be issued secretly.
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.
The statement read: “The Anambra State government has not raised any money from the Debt Management Office or the Federal Ministry of Finance under a bond, or any financial instrument from any institution or organization.
“Our record of prudent financial management and integrity is well acknowledged far and near.
“It is tough to speculate how the senator came about the phantom N25bn bond which Anambra State purportedly raised surreptitiously from the DMO/Federal Ministry of Finance.
“The only thing that any individual can possibly think about is the promissory notes which the state government received in two tranches from the Debt Management Office/Federal Ministry of Finance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of failed federal roads in the state.
“The promissory notes were never secret. The reimbursement was recommended by the senate after a public hearing on the debts owed the state for the road rehabilitation and reconstruction.
“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.
“Even the purposes to which the funds are deployed are stated clearly in the annual report.
“The transactions could not have been more honourable and transparent. Anambra State is today regarded as a model in governance.
“Despite limited resources, it is ahead of every other state in Nigeria in a lot of areas, including the employment rate which many economists in the world regard as the most important indicator of economic performance.
“On August 19, 2020, for example, the National Bureau of Statistics published the latest survey of unemployment rates in Nigeria which saw Anambra, with a13.1% unemployment rate in a working population of 2.25 million, as the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country whereas the average national unemployment rate is 27.1%”
Adinuba said it was not for nothing that Anambra had become the most competitive state in Nigeria..