Fred Itua, Abuja
The N25 billion promissory note issued to the Anambra State Government by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in 2018 and 2019 respectively, is generating fresh controversy between the State governor, Willie Obiano and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
The DMO had in December 2018 and April 2019, issued separate promissory notes to the Anambra State Government to the tune of N10.097 billion and N15.146 billion, respectively.
The notes which were issued to settle the purported outstanding claims for rehabilitated roads, however, had maturity dates of December 28, 2020 and April 1, 2022.
On the part of the State government, it has justified why it went for the promissory notes and has declared the processes as transparent and legal. Ubah, on the other hand, faulted the collection of the money before the maturity dates.
He alleged at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja that ahead of the maturity dates of the promissory notes, Obiano had discounted the two promissory notes and collected only N16 billion instead of the N25 billion, a situation he claimed made the State lose the sum of N9 billion.
‘The question is why did Obiano discount Anambra money. What did he do with the cash realised?’ Ubah asked
He gave the Anambra State Government a 72 hours ultimatum to address the people of the State on what was done with the money or risk being dragged to court.
The State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C Don Adinuba, in a statement in Awka, explained that the promissory notes were never secret.
He said the reimbursement was even recommended by the senate after a public hearing on the debts owed the state for the road rehabilitation and reconstruction.
According to Adinuba: ‘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.
‘The Anambra State Government further declared that the purposes to which the funds are deployed are stated clearly in the annual report pointing out that the money is neither a loan nor a bond.’