As the political leaders who took over reigns of power at the national and state levels settle into offices today they have clearly given thumps down to their predecessors in the area of economic management First is the President Mohammadu Buhari who took over from Goodluck Jonathan last weekend and declared that Nigeria’s economy is in “deep trouble and needs careful management to overcome the impact of low oil prices, slowing growth, high unemployment and the security threat from Islamist group Boko Haram”.
Beyond the electioneering campaign and party leaders’ commentaries after the elections, this was the first time Buhari would be commenting on the economy he is inheriting. At the states level it was all complain galore over the state of affairs in the treasuries as the new governor in Bauchi State Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar said “I met empty treasury”.
The new governor said this shortly after taking oath of office administered by the State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium Bauchi adding that he is ready to make public figures of the state treasury to the people of the state that the state treasury is completely empty.
He said: “The people will have to give us time to correct all wrongs perpetrated by the PDP administration. The people have to understand and be Patients with us because it’s not going to be an easy task. “I want to assure the people of Bauchi state that we are equal to the task of bringing out the state out of the woods. The Bauchi report may have been tainted with political sentiment as the transition was from one political party leadership to another.
But in Kano State where the hand over was between leaders of same political party (All Progressives Congress, APC) the Transition Committee set up by Kano State new Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, last week said that the outgoing governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, has not only left an empty treasury but additional liability of N379 billion, second highest State indebtedness after Lagos State, also an APC state.
Chairman of the 93-member (largest transition committee membership across the country including federal level) committee and Deputy Governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, who read the abridged copy of its final report stated that ‘’hard times await Kano and it might take patience to get along.” Abubakar, a professor of Food Nutrition gave the breakdown of liability by the Kwankwaso’s administration adding that the total capital receipt to the state between May 2011 and May 2015 stood at N 419.75 billion out of which N430.6 billion was spent.
He further said total capital receipt by the 44 local government areas of the state within the same period stood at N346.591 billion which was expended on joint projects between the state government and the local governments. Abubakar who served Kwankwaso as Commissioner for Finance between 1999-2003 explained that the previous administration initiated over 4,000 projects, for which over N140 billion was paid to contractors with N4.5billion still outstanding