*Says Adamawa pays N1bn to service debt monthly
The speaker of Adamawa State house of Assembly Rt. Hon Aminu Iya Abbas has stated how the immediate past Governor of the state, Muhammad Umaru Jibrilla Bindow borrowed a whooping N6 billion after losing election ostensibly to pay April salaries but refused to pay a dime to the civil servants.
Abbas who made the revelation during an exclusive interview with FOMBINATIMES on Monday at his office was responding to enquiries over a new debt of over N9 billion which the assembly gave the government the nod to secure in order to build 2,000 houses for civil servants.
The speaker noted that the said facility is not directly coming to the purse of the state government but will be handled by a company established by the federal government ‘Family Homes’ to build houses for Nigerians at zero percent interest rate.
“This money is from the federal government issued to the state at zero percent interest rate. It is a grant or a facility but does not attract any interest and is not given to the state government but a company, ‘Family homes’, created by the federal government to build the houses.
“What we did in the house was to give a resolution that will allow this money to be given to the company from the federal government in the name of building houses for Adamawa people.
Abbas, however, expressed dismay that instead of people to talk of a rather disturbing issue of a debt of N6 billion secured by ex-Governor Bindow at the tail end of his administration that was deliberated side by side with the housing issue, they were rather talking on the new development from uninformed perspective.
“Why are people not talking about the N6 billion we restructured? Because the same day, we restructured N6 billion. This N6 billion was taken by the last administration in April, after losing the election. And the burden is on the state and they took that money, if you remember, they didn’t even pay salaries for that April.
“After collecting that money and the subvention, the April salaries were not paid in the state, we had to come and pay salaries for April and May. The N6 billion was for payments of salaries and whatever in the state and it wasn’t paid; nothing was paid.
“They collected the N6 billion to be paid in 24 months and we said no. The burden will be too much on the state. We increase the time to 36 months, that’s what we did.
“But people don’t want to think of why is this N6 billion. Why did people refused to mention N6 billion? But are talking of N9 billion that will beneficial to all the citizens of Adamawa state. A lot of staff, a lot of people in this state don’t have houses,” the speaker said.
Expressing concern over the economic heist hoisted on the state in the past, the speaker noted that economically the state has been raped and bruised leaving it comatose and gasping for breath.
“As I am talking, the deductions on Adamawa state is about N1 billion per month. The state is paying about N1 billion per month on facilities. When I discussed this with some people, they say if they are given the governorship of the state, they won’t take it.
“We are paying N1 billion per month to service our debt and we are getting between N3.8 and N4 billion on monthly basis; and the salary of the state, even without the political appointees is between N2.2 to N2.3 billion and will be much more higher when the political appointees come on board.
“By the time you bring all these political appointees in, you now look at how much the salary is going to be. By the time you start paying their entitlements apart from salaries, everybody has a housing benefit, furniture, car, whatever; the burden will be too much.
“It is because of the prevailing circumstance that we in the house don’t have cars for almost four months now. Because we are looking at the financial status of the state.
“If we are going to buy cars for the Assembly alone, we are spending over N1 billion,” he said.