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‘Zamfara State’s Treasury Empty,’ Says Governor Dauda Lawal

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ZAMFARA, Nigeria – Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State has revealed a bleak financial landscape for the state, saying he discovered a mere N4 million in the state’s account upon assuming office on May 29, 2023.

In an interview with BBC Hausa on Monday, June 19, 2023, the governor expressed concern over the state’s economic state, saying it has been operating in debt, with four months of workers’ salaries remaining unpaid.

Governor Lawal also disclosed that the state has been unable to pay allowances to security agencies for the past three months.

Moreover, he lamented that senior secondary school students in Zamfara have been unable to sit for the West African Examination Council, WAEC, and the National Examination Council, NECO, exams due to outstanding debt exceeding one billion naira.

“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,” the governor shared.

Governor Lawal dismissed claims from the previous administration that it had left N20 billion in the treasury. He asked them to publicly present evidence showing the account holding the alleged amount.

He added that if such an amount was available, he would immediately settle the outstanding salaries and provide adequate funds to security agencies for the protection of the state.

He further commented on the water crisis in Gusau, the state capital, stating, “The issue of water, there has been no water in Gusau for about four months now. I had to borrow to purchase the chemicals for the water.”

Despite these challenges, the governor remained hopeful and committed to resolving these crises. He pledged to ensure that civil servants in the state receive their salaries before the Eid-l-Kabir festival.

“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,” he reassured.

The governor’s revelations highlight the depth of the economic crisis in Zamfara State, signalling the daunting task ahead for his administration.

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