Yero, el-Rufai in war of words over Kaduna state's financial status
There is confusion in Kaduna over the state of the treasury that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government handed over to the Mallam Nasir el-Rufai-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration on May 29.
While former governor Mukhtar Yero claimed during the handover that he was leaving behind a whopping N8 billion, a development that forced el-Rufai too to acknowledge publicly then that the situation was not as bad as APC thought, the governor later insisted that his predecessor in office lied on paper.
Only last week, former deputy governor of the state, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, dismissed the empty treasury claim of the APC-led government. He insisted that their government indeed left N8 billion in the state's coffers.
But el-Rufai again fired back yesterday, insisting that the PDP government left the state in deficit.
Speaking through his Special Assistant, Samuel Aruwan, at a press conference yesterday, the governor said: 'I am here to dismiss claims by the former deputy governor of our state, Mr. Nuhu Audu Bajoga, that the last government left over N8 billion as working money in the accounts of Kaduna State Government. The Mukhtar Ramalan Yero government actually left the state in deficit.
'The Kaduna State Government had N228,333,371.67 in its central account on May 29, 2015. This represents the working capital that could be spent. All other items in the bank balance are committed funds, and are not available to be spent by government. These include counterpart and reserve funds clearly earmarked for specific purposes, such as MDGs, SUBEB, Sure-P and state pensions, and as such cannot be termed available funds, by any responsible government.
'It is pretty disingenuous to infer that a state that is in obvious dire straits has robust finances or to delude to a conclusion that N8 billion on paper is available in reality.
'Furthermore, the Mukhtar Ramalan Yero government that Bajoga served also incurred outstanding liabilities of N370 million by May 2015, that effectively leaves the state in deficit as the working capital of slightly over N228 million cannot cover the liability.'