By G9ija

Controversies are trailing reported rejection of N181 billion loan requests from three banks aimed at tackling infrastructure development in Anambra State, in addition to raising N25 billion bond from the Debt Management Office/Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning for failed federal roads in the state, which the state has rehabilitated or reconstructed.

The said loan comprised N150 billion for roads, N15 billion for provision of water in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka, and N16 billion for the controversial International Cargo and Passenger Airport at Umueri in Anambra East Local Council.

The reported loan request is coming on the heels of denial by the state government that it had not secured a kobo in form of loan from any bank or financial institution to execute some projects in the state, including the airport project.x

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, in a statement debunking the insinuation, a copy of which was made available to reporters, said that “the state government furtively raised a N25 billion bond from the Debt Management Office/Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning for failed federal roads in the state, which the state has rehabilitated or reconstructed.

Adinuba, who punctured Ubah’s emphasis that the bond was approved without the knowledge of the National Assembly, said: “Before a bond can 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, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission must be involved. The Anambra State government has not raised any money under a bond or any financial instrument from any institution or organisation.

“It is tough to speculate how Ubah came about the phantom N25 billion bond. 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 debts owed the state for rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads. Given the fact that the Federal Ministry of Finance did not have 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 December 31, 2019. Even the purposes to which the funds are deployed are stated clearly in the yearly report.”