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Governor willie Obiano. Denies N75b handoverover from predecessor

GOVERNOR Willie Obiano yesterday denied the
claim by predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi that he left
over N75 billion to his successor.
But Obi said the state government’s statement was
full of inaccuracies.
Addressing reporters yesterday, the Secretary to
the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu,
described Obi’s claim as a hoax.
He said: “The N75 billion was not there; it was not
handed over to anybody. At best it can be half
truth”
Chukwulobelu said instead, the state government
inherited a total contract sum of N185.1 billion as
liability from the Obi administration.
He said the explanation had become pertinent
because of the ground the rumour of the N75
billion was gaining, both in the social and
traditional media.
Chukwulobelu said it took the state government
this long to reply to the claim in other to put the
rumour finally to rest, urging the public to
discountenance the claim because it does not
exist.
He said: “In the real sense, what the Obiano
administration inherited from Obi was N9billion
cash and N26billion near cash.
“Based on the figures detailed above, which are
taken from the handover notes from the previous
administration to the current administration, it is
evident that the actual and voluntary cash
investments made by the previous administration
amounts to approximately N35.5billion consisting
of mobilization paid on contracts for shopping
malls and hotels, cost of two business parks in
Onitsha, investments in Eurobonds, amongst a few
others.
“Items such as counterpart funds held jointly with
domestic development finance institutions, land
contributions, FGN refunds differences in bank
balances and investments made directly by the
federal government on behalf of the three tiers of
government totaling approximately N39.5bliilon
have been reclassified as “illiquid investments,
FGN receivables and involuntary investments.
“However, to provide a true and fair picture of the
state’s net position on March 17, 2014, the
investments handover notes ought to have
captured current liabilities and contingent
liabilities also borne by the previous
administration as at the time of handover.
“To put this to context, the total portfolio of
inherited projects valued at approximately N185
billion was however not captured in the breakdown
of the handover notes.”
But in a swift reaction, Obi described the state
government’s statement as untrue.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Valentine
Obienyem, Obi said it was a deliberate attempt by
the state government to misrepresent facts.
Obienyem insisted: “Obi left over N75 Billion in
cash and investment. The breakdown is as follows:
N27 billion in local currency investment; N26. 5
billion in foreign currency investment and N28.1
billion in Certified State/ MDS balances.
“Even in the final handover document, Obi
deducted N10 billion approved Federal
Government refund, as well as the salary, pension,
gratuity, money on certificates raised on contracts
for the month of March which all amounted to N5
billion before arriving at the balance of over 75
billion he bequeathed his successor.
“As a financial expert, Obi went to his end of
tenure event with Gov. Willie Obiano and said all
these in the presence of all the bank MDs in whose
banks the monies are lodged. In fact, as at March
17th he handed over, he got all the certified
statements of Anambra’s accounts from the banks
this monies were and handed them over to his
successor. If they were confused on where the
monies were , why would they not call Obi who
kept them to explain the whereabouts to them as
much as he knew?”.
He said it was good that the state government did
not deny the fact that before leaving office, Obi
paid billions of naira for the completion of Agulu
Lake Hotel, Onitsha Hotel, Awka and Nnewi
shopping malls, and invested in SABMiller
Breweries in Onitsha, value of which, he said, has
tripled.
He added: “It is curious that the denial came at a
time the state government had concluded
arrangement to massively borrow money from
banks and financial institutions”, adding that they
did not need to paint Obi black to do so, especially
when the man, since leaving office, has not for a
day commented on what is happening in Anambra,
even with the daily drench of blame coming his
way as being responsible for whatever, right or
wrong, that are happening in the state for making
his successor a governor, single handedly.”

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