Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, has said his administration inherited an empty treasury from his predecessor, Bello Matawalle, when he took over the reins of power in on May 29, 2023.
“The Zamfara State we inherited is in a bad state. At the time we took over, Zamfara was bankrupt with nothing left. It is a state where we inherited so many bad things,” he said.
Lawal, who spoke in Abuja, during an interactive session with Zamfara professionals, said Matawalle milked the state dry before leaving office.
The banker-turned politician, however, assured the professionals that the situation would change for better, and solicited their support to rebuild the state for the overall good of the people.
Lawal, who claimed inheriting a bankrupt state with three-month salary backlog for civil servants, said things were so terrible, when he took over that due to huge debt overhang, students from the state could not sit for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations just held.
“Fortunately, for us, NECO (National Examinations Council) is about to start and if we did not do anything, the children may not write the exam,” he said, adding that existing records indicated that the state was owing WAEC about N1.6 billion and NECO about N1.4 billion.
While explaining that the situation made it impossible for the students to sit for past examinations, the governor said the new administration recently paid off the outstanding NECO’s debt in order to start on a clean slate.
“This is something that is verifiable. Outside security, education is key because without education, we are going no where,” he said, adding that the state government has already commenced reconstruction of primary schools and building the capacity of the teachers to boost their productivity going forward.