Cross River’s debt hits N167 billion
The governor should tread with caution and we hope current loan sourced is well utilised to the benefit of the people unlike other projects that have not added anything to the economy of the state yet so much loan was sourced
WITH barely fou months in the saddle, the Governor Ben Ayade administration in Cross River State has reportedly raised the state’s debt profile to N167 billion from the N130 billion.
The figure, The Guardian gathered, excludes the N40 billion bond floated by the immediate past government which is currently quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Speaking on the development which had raised eyebrow among the citizenry, a political analyst, John Asuquo said: “The governor should tread with caution and we hope current loan sourced is well utilised to the benefit of the people unlike other projects that have not added anything to the economy of the state yet so much loan was sourced”.
In an apparent defence of the N37 billion that had allegedly been sourced, the governor while maintaining that he had got the state on a sound footing, said: “I brought my money to run the state…I gave N1.7 billion (for local government salary), check my records from the last income that we got from federation allocation and their wage bill is N2.1 billion. I have a deficit there. I am not talking of deductions that were taken from that. For state Civil Service, I gave N1.87 billion but I have N2.4 billion to pay. I have outstanding bills, debts that must be taken from ISPOs (Irrevocable Standing Payment Order) immediately the money comes. I have internally generated revenue that is neither here nor there struggling to approximate between N500 million and N600 million. If you add up the sum, I have deficit of N2 billion every month”.
In March, the former Special Adviser to the then Governor Liyel Imoke on Debt Management, Mrs. Francesca Effiom, had put the state’s total debt profile at N123.9 billion and “of the N123.9 billion debt, external debts account for N13.5 billion while domestic debts is put at N110 billion.