Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal has revealed that his predecessor left only about N4 million in the state’s treasury, a sum inadequate to manage the state’s affairs. Consequently, the governor has been governing on a financial deficit since he assumed office on May 29.
Governor Lawal disclosed this during an interview with BBC Hausa, adding that the state currently owes workers four months’ worth of unpaid salaries and is unable to pay security agencies their allowances. It has also been reported that senior secondary school students in Zamfara have not sat for their West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) exams due to outstanding government dues.
According to Lawal, “I have been running the affairs of the state on debt since I assumed office as governor of Zamfara. I met the treasury account of the state with no money. I only saw a single account with about N3 to N4 million in it.”
Lawal dismissed claims of N20 billion left by the previous administration, challenging them to provide proof of such an amount. He further stated that if he had such funds, he would promptly pay workers’ salaries and allocate adequate funds for state security.
Moreover, the state has been grappling with water supply issues for the past four months. The governor had to borrow funds to buy chemicals for water purification and negotiate with some Indian contractors for water supply equipment.
Despite these financial difficulties, Governor Lawal reassured the civil servants of Zamfara that he will do his utmost to pay all workers’ salaries before the Eid-l-Kabir festival, saying, “I will do whatever it takes to pay the workers’ salaries. I am making all necessary efforts to find support to pay the owed salaries.”