FORMER Kano State governor Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has accused his former deputy and the current incumbent Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of taking out unnecessary loans and recklessly indebting the state.
After Senator Kwankwaso left office in 2015, his deputy Governor Ganduje took over from him but the pair have since fallen out and gone their separate ways. Speaking on Arise News, Senator Kwankwaso accused the governor of borrowing to execute unnecessary projects, causing the state to owe about N185bn ($450.1m).
Expressing his displeasure at the present debt profile of Kano State, which he said was without debt before he left as governor, Senator Kwankwaso added that this mismanagement was the reason for the disagreement he is having with Governor Ganduje and nothing personal. In 2019, Senator Kwankwaso left the ruling All Progressives Congress and joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Senator Kwankwaso said: “On personal grounds, there is just no issue but on the issue of governance, certainly, we are not satisfied with what the government is doing. Probably, it was even the genesis of the negative relationship that started immediately he was elected.
“There are certain things that they are doing which do not conform with our beliefs and don’t conform with our ideology. Take for example the issue of debt, in Kwankwasiyya, we don’t believe in borrowing except when it is extremely necessary.
“I’m happy to say that when I was governor from 1999 to 2003, I did not borrow one single kobo or naira from anybody both local and international. On the contrary, we paid every naira that was borrowed by my predecessor at that particular time.
“Also when I went back in 2011, we met a lot of debt, especially the ones that were borrowed just before we went in, at least $200m for issues like malaria, mosquito and so on. We asked our commissioners to go and follow due process with the World Bank and other organisations and before we left, we settled every naira.
“We paid 100% and of course, all for what we did in Kano, in terms of projects, programmes and so forth, especially in the educational sector. We don’t believe in borrowing anything from anybody and both times, 2003 and 2015, that I left government, there was no one single debt for Kano State.
“I can tell you earlier this year, our investigation shows that Kano State is indebted to about N185bn and that is not acceptable in our own arrangement. Some of the projects they claim are being done were projects in our opinion that were not necessary. You don’t borrow money to go and start building things that are not necessary now.”