June 17, 2024

N111.24bn debt: ‘Ebonyi did not borrow from World Bank, IMF’ – Gov Nwifuru

The Ebonyi State Government has debunked the report that it was among the states that borrowed N111.24 billion from domestic and foreign financiers in its first six months in office.

The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Leonard Uguru, affirmed that Governor Francis Nwifuru has not borrowed from either internal or foreign creditors since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

Uguru was reacting to the publication of the Debt Management Office, DMO, which reported that the Ebonyi State Government under Nwifuru, among other 16 states, had borrowed $125.1 million (N111.24 billion) from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Ebonyi State, according to the report, has accumulated an external debt of $37.54 million.

Speaking further, the commissioner stated: “Since the inception of this administration, the Ebonyi State Government has not borrowed any money, whether foreign or domestic loans. So, any organisation that’s writing that Ebonyi is among the states that have borrowed money, I don’t know where they are getting their data.”

He further stated: “Among the South East states, Ebonyi is still the least in both domestic and foreign debt. Even though we have a trace of debt, which is the 150 million dollar loan from Africa Development Bank and Islamic Bank inherited from the past administration in the reconstruction of Ring Road, which is what made the loan increase, it is worth it as the road cuts across various local government areas of the state. Outside that, I don’t think there’s any other debt owed by the previous state government.”

He reiterated that the current administration in the state is focused on human capacity development, adding that while less attention is being paid to infrastructure, the governor has mapped out plans for the second phase of the one billion naira empowerment of 500 hawkers.

He enjoined investors to take advantage of the peaceful environment and business-friendly dispositions introduced by the All Progressives Congress government of Governor Nwifuru to invest in the state.

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