The Cross River State House of Assembly has granted approval to state governor, Ben Ayade, to a N5 billion loan facility from First Bank of Nigeria, with an eighteen percent interest rate, payable over a 24 month period, to help the governor offset unpaid pensions and fix “other unforseen obligations of government”.
A letter from the governor, read on the floor of the House today by Bassey Ekpenyong, Clerk of the House, revealed further that the decision to obtain the loan was reached at the second meeting of the College of Permanent Secretaries, chaired by the governor. The monthly federal allocation to the state would be used to service the loan facility, www.calitown.com can reveal.
Peter Odey, representing Ogoja State Constituency, who spoke in favour of the loan facility being granted, begged that the facility be properly used by the state government and for the reason for which it was obtained.
But Elvert Ekom, Ikom II State Constituency, in a swift reaction, asked the House to equally ask the governor to come clear with what he meant by “unforseen obligations of government”, for proper accountability. “The governor would have done the House more good if he had properly explained what else he intends to use the loan facility for instead of simple classifying whatever it may be as “unforseen obligations of government”, the House member maintained.
Making excuses for government, Friday Okpechi, Obubra I State Constituency, told the House that the governor, Ben Ayade prompt payment of salaries in the past and the present delay in payment of June salaries could be what the governor may have referred to in his letter as “unforseen obligations of government”. The House finally resolved and granted the governor’s request to secure the N5 billion loan facility.
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