Controversy has continued to trail the 2014 handover notes from the Peter Obi administration to the new government of Willie Obiano. There are indications that the compilation was marred by exaggerated figures and some irreconcilable entries.
Dismissing the purported total handover sum, former Anambra State PDP Chairman and senior citizen, Dan Ulasi in late 2017 challenged the leadership of the immediate past government to come and defend their claims at a public round table with officials of the Willie Obiano government.
A careful review of the document side by side with other public records puts the total value of handed over assets at N44.5b. This is made up of N9b cash and N34.5b savings investment and investment. Curiously, there is no mention of the liabilities being inherited by the new government – a requirement for determining the balance of the books and therefore actual worth of the assets.
As it turned out, the Obiano administration was saddled with contract debts of N127b and a range of other commercial and counterpart fund obligations with future maturity dates.
While it is stated in the handover notes, most probably produced December 2013 that the State’s bank balances at December 31 2013 stood at N11.5b, it is established from extant records that between January to March 16, 2014, this was drawn down to approximately N9b, the very cash inherited by the Obiano administration.
The sum of N3.5b quoted as investment in Intafact Beverages Limited, manufacturers of the Hero brand, is not true. To date, Anambra State invested N1.9b in the company, broken down to N1.4b by the Obi administration and N540m by the Obiano government. The status cum value of stock instruments is easily verifiable from the Registrar of Securities.
There should also be no controversy about the ineligibility of including the Nigeria Independent Power Project valued at N96b in a document listing investments undertaken by the Peter Obi govt. The above investment was initiated and executed by the federal government as a national venture involving the central government and 36 States. That such involuntary investments do not belong here is inadvertently admitted by the past administration’s truncated list of the State’s equity holdings. Anambra State has stakes in Nigercem Company, Nkalagu and real estates in Enugu, Lagos and Abuja. Why were these not included in the standard of all receivables?
It amounts to playing on the intelligence of Ndi Anambra to say that the previous administration ploughed N1b into the Onitsha Shopping Mall. No such payment was made. What was presented as investment of Anambra State funds was no more than conversion of the State’s land to 15% equity holding. African Capital Alliance was the project’s financial investor.
In the peculiar world of the past administration’s investment bonanza, loans advanced to farmers and small scale entrepreneurs by federal institutions such as Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture qualify to be declared as investment by the regime! This erroneous item is valued at N2.4b.
The entries on Emenite Limited and Orient Petroleum Resources Limited are misrepresentations of the facts on ground. In both cases, there is ascription to the Obi administration of investment by other governments.
The jerking up of N44b cash and future maturing investment to N75b figure hints of political manoeuvre. The continued orchestration of this false figure in the media confirms this agenda. Whatever lingering doubts on the motive is dispelled by the shouting silence on liabilities in the handover notes. And not least among these is the burden of paying five thousand, eight hundred and sixty workers issued with appointment letters in January 2014 by the outgoing administration.
Inconsistency in the alternating figures of N75b cash and N75b cash and investment is a mortal blow to the claims.
And assuming, but not conceding to the fanciful figures, it would spell bad judgement and insensitive governance to have such money and leave the State’s workers including doctors among the least paid in the country. It would be stinging self indictment to have such money and not build the long desired airport and leave the State capital a glorified village.