Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Some citizens of Anambra have expressed the worry over the increasing debt profile of the state warning that the rate of borrowings by Governor Willie Obiano could cripple the economy if not checked.
A data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that as at September 30, 2019, Anambra State had a debt profile of N34,007,803,458.86.
Former Deputy Chief Whip of the state House of Assembly, Nze Tony-Uche Ezekwelu, described the trend as worrisome. Ezekwelu said, although, borrowing was not a crime, doing so outside the budgetary provisions would pose a big problem in the long run.
“Although, it is not a bad thing for a state or a government to be in debt, be it domestic or foreign, debt is an instrument for economic management, however, debt becomes a major problem if it becomes unsustainable.
And if it is outside the scope that can be contained within the budgetary provisions of the state, it becomes something that is bad and negative. In this regard, Anambra State has been known to be debt free from the time of Mr. Peter Obi until recently,” Ezekwelu said.
Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in the South East, Nnonyelu William Onyibor, said the debts currently being accumulated might impact negatively on youths.
In same vein, Chairman of Human Right, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIDE), Dede Uzor A Uzor, wondered why the state government’s debt profile under Governor Obiano should be on the ascendency, given that he inherited a debt free state.
“Peter Obi left without borrowing any kobo. He also left over N76 billion in the coffers of the state, tell me why Anambra should owe over N34 billion in less than five years of APGA administration under Governor Obiano. It is a very dangerous thing,” he said.
Spokesperson to Governor Obaino, Mr. Ikenna Aniagboso, told Daily Sun that although Ndi Anambra have the right to comment on the financial standing of the state, the figures being bandied around by some concerned citizens were not correct.
Aniagboso promised to get back to the reporter to clear the air on the correct debt figure of the state and the fears by citizens. But, he also suggested that this reporter reach out to the Commissioner for Economic Planning for further information.