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Cross River Assembly approves Ayade’s N5bn loan request

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[FILE] Cross River State governor Professor Ben Ayade

Cross River House of Assembly on Tuesday in Calabar approved Gov. Ben Ayade’s request to access a loan facility of N5 billion from First Bank of Nigeria, payable within 24 months.

The approval of the loan followed a motion moved by the Leader, Mr Peter Odey, at the plenary which was seconded by the Deputy Leader, Mr Fred Osim, after the house had deliberated on the letter sent to it by Ayade.

The governor in a letter to the Speaker, Eteng Jonas-Williams, dated July 5, which was read at the plenary by the Clerk, Mr Bassey Ekpenyong, said he intended to use the loan facility to offset unpaid pensions.
He added that the loan was also to enable the state government to fix “other unforseen obligations of government.”

He indicated that the state government had not been able to meet its financial obligations with respect to payment of pension and other unforeseen obligations due to paucity of funds and dwindling statutory allocations from the Federation Account.

The governor stated that the resolution to seek the approval of the loan was reached at the second meeting of the College of Permanent Secretaries which he chaired himself.

He also pointed out that the state’s monthly allocation from the federation account would be used to service the loan.

In their deliberation, members noted that the loan would alleviate the plight of pensioners as well as assist the state government to continue executing the ongoing projects across the state.

Mr Friday Okpechi who represents Obubra I State Constituency, said the governor was known for prompt payment of salaries, adding that the delay in payment of June salaries could be what the governor captured as “unforseen obligations of government.”

Other members who spoke on the request expressed confidence that the governor would use the funds judiciously.

The Speaker, Eteng Jonas-Williams, noted that the preponderance of members’ opinion supported the resolution, and directed the clerk of the house to convey the assembly’s approval to the governor.


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