Anambra Assembly Passes Revised 2022 Budget, Amidst Controversy over Soludo’s Loan Request
News Report by Ebuka Onyekwelu
Anambra State House of Assembly today, passed the 2022 Revised Budget submitted by the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, after his swearing-in. A total budget size of N169.6 billion was approved by the House for the services of the government of Anambra State and other related matters.
Meanwhile, a letter of request for loan by the governor was read today. The Governor is seeking the approval of the House to secure N100 billion Naira from CBN or Commercial Banks, to fund certain undisclosed infrastructural projects in the 2022 revised budget. However, the Governor had in the letter hinted that for the 2022 revised budget, there is only a deficit of about N42 billion, but he is rather surprisingly asking the House for approval of a loan of N100 billion Naira, which the letter explained will go to service the coming years’ budget which deficit is yet unknown.
Other grey areas in the proposed loan by Governor Soludo include the fact that the terms and conditions of the loan were not disclosed in the letter or made available to members for consideration or at least perusal. The second grey area is that the governor in his letter did not disclose specific projects the loan money will be injected in. But most importantly, it is unclear why the 2022 budget deficit is N42 billion, yet, the governor is asking to borrow N100 billion.
If the House passes the loan request, Anambra State will be indebted by well over N200 billion, which is above the State’s budget size. If the loan is secured from commercial banks, then, the state is expected to pay an interest of no less than 14% on the loan. Yet again, It is still unclear what the House intends to do with governor Soludo’s request, considering the surrounding controversies and questions, which are now in public domain.
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