…says State’s debt profile is alarming
By Favour Goodness
Sen. Andy Uba, candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), has asked former Gov. Of Central of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo to stop feigning ignorance about the total debt liability of Anambra state he so desperately seeks to govern.
Soludo, candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in next week’s Anambra governorship election, had while speaking on Channels TV programme, Politics on Friday, shocked the show’s host, Seun Okinbaloye, and viewers when he could not put a figure to the state’s debt profile.
Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, Director, Media and Publicity of the Senator Andy Uba Governorship Campaign Organisation, (SAUGCO) on a statement on Friday said “the usually verbose Professor of Economics had been pointedly asked if he knew what the state’s debt overhang was, and how he intended to deal with it.
“Instead of offering a definitive answer, the APGA candidate embarked on a rigmarole, before stating that he would find out when he becomes governor.
“Undeterred, Okinbaloye pressed further, pointing out that statistics from the country’s Debt Management Office, DMO, indicated that Anambra owed N60 billion in domestic debt, and $116 million in external loans.
“However, the real shock emerged when the eminent Professor, renown for his oratorical skills than sound macro economic solutions, said: ‘We are going to verify that. Borrowed from who, who are the creditors?’
“We see Soludo’s demurred stance on a very sensitive issue that affects the lives of the people as cheap politics and an attempt to cover up the sins of his pay masters to the detriment of the State.
“We are however happy that APGA’s antics are already known to the people who are waiting to finally send them packing on November 6.
“Ironically, data released by the DMO on December 31, 2020 indicated that Anambra’s domestic debt stood at N59,013 billion as at September 30, 2020, while the state’s external debt profile was $115,886 million as at June, 2020.
“In deed, it is shocking that a Professor Soludo who should have such information at the tip of his fingers, would elect to play politics with such information crucial to the lifeblood of the state, or was simply being mischievous,” Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, Director, Media and Publicity of the Senator Andy Uba Governorship Campaign Organisation, SAUGCO said in a statement today.
“Whichever is the case, Professor Soludo owes ndi Anambra the patriotic duty of researching into what really is the debt liability of our dear state, Anambra.
“In fact, for a man who was two years ago, in November 2019, given the task of fashioning out the grandiose 50-year Anambra 2070 Vision Agenda not to be seized of important data such as the profit and loss account of the state, speaks eloquently about his capacity for accomplishing small, practical assignments.
“Perhaps, it is this obvious flaw that caused former Minister of Finance and current Director General of the World Trade Organization, WTO to author a damning confidential report on Soludo in January, 2015.
“Okonjo-Iweala: “There is definitely an issue of character with Professor Charles Soludo and his desperate search for power and relevance in Nigeria. Nigerians should therefore beware of so-called intellectuals without character and wisdom because this combination is fatal.”
“Could this character flaw have been at play when Soludo decided to cover up Governor Willy Obiano’s obsessive borrowing binge, in exchange for his role in seeking to puppeteer him into political office?
“As an irreducible minimum, we requests Prof. Soludo to undertake the urgent task of finding out the exact and total debt liability of Anambra state – for, in accomplishing this task, Prof. Soludo would have rendered an invaluable service to a people he so eagerly crave to govern,” Ogene added.