How did the 28 federal ministries, their departments and agencies under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan incur a whopping N4 trillion contractual debt? Who issued the jobs and did they pass through due process and if so, did the contractors complete the assigned jobs?
These and more are the duties which a special task force to be raised by the Federal Government is to undertake before the debt could be classified as Federal Government liability and settled by the new administration.
The N4 trillion debt, which is nearly the country’s budget for one year, was handed over by the previous government to the present administration as part of the hand-over note given to the Transition Committee raised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
But after looking at the debt profile and not being able to establish its authenticity, the Transition Committee headed by Alhaji Ahmed Joda, has made a strong recommendation to President Buhari to raise a ministerial task force to probe how the huge debts were incurred in the first place.
The mandate of the task force is to confirm the existence of the liabilities and authenticate the accuracy of the information provided in the handover notes.
“The government should only recognise the liabilities verified and confirmed by the task force.”
The Joda committee said it could not rely on the handover note it received from the Jonathan administration because of the fact that the specific dates when the contracts were awarded were not provided, thereby raising suspicion about their genuineness.