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Factcheck: Gombe State not owing N110bn

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The Transition Committee set up by Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya has put the state’s debt at N110bn.

The Chairman of the Transition Committee, Mohammed Kabir, while presenting the Committee’s report to the then Gombe governor-elect on May 11, said Gombe State had a debt profile of N110bn as at December 2018.

The 31-member transition committee was inaugurated on April 3, to organise a smooth transition from the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government to a new one.

But, the immediate past Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, denied the report, claiming the state’s debt was not as high as N110bn, and that the state owed no bank.

He, however, did not provide any statistics about the state’s debt profile.

A check by The Guardian on the websites of the Debt Management Office (DMO), the official institution that coordinates the management of Nigeria’s entire debt, and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the agency that provides official statistics on all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), revealed that as at December 31, 2018, Gombe State’s domestic debt was N63,337,930,142.60 (N63bn); while the external debt was $37,406.069.57 ($37m), which translates to N11,483,575,432.00 (N11bn).

Gombe State’s external debt was multiplied by N307, the official exchange rate of one dollar to naira as at December 31, 2018.

If the domestic debt of N63 billion is added to the external debt of N11billion, the result is N74,821,687,574.60 (N74bn); a figure which is less than the N110bn the transition committee claimed.

This, therefore, means that the claim that Gombe State’s debt is N110bn as at December 31, 2018 is false.

When the Secretary of the Transition Committee, Zubairu Umar was contacted to provide evidence of how they arrived at the state’s debt, he said the committee relied on undisclosed “sources” and would provide more information in due course.


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