Katsina State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Masari, has said that his predecessor, ex-governor Ibrahim Shema, bequeathed a staggering debt of N6.2 billion of retired local government workers, being their cumulative gratuity claims and a $78 million state debt.
Masari made the disclosure on Thursday in Katsina, the state capital, during his maiden press conference.
The Governor, who explained that the discovery was made by Transition Committee, said the new administration under him would publish all the findings of the committee for public information.
Masari said, in addition, he inherited a $78 million debt from the Shema administration and also rubbished the past governor’s claim that he left N3.7 billion in the state’s coffers.
The Governor said: “The past administration left only N9.9 million in the state government account. They claimed to have left N3.7 billion in the state coffers, while the state owed retirees N6.2 billion.
“The N3.7 billion was in the SURE-P account and not the state government account; so it is better not to leave anything than to accumulate huge amount of unpaid gratuities.
“Borrowing is not a fault, but how the money was spent is the major issue, because even the strong economies in the world do borrow money to finance their expenditure.’’
Masari further disclosed that he had revoked all housing allocations and hajj seats carried out by the past administration to ensure fairness among people of the state.
It would be recalled that Masari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who is also a former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, defeated the PDP candidate supported by Shema to clinch the governorship.