N14.4bn cash inflow into Cross River causes ripples
The opposition party, African Action Congress (AAC) has asked the state government to explain how N14.5bn said to have been paid into government coffers in the past three months, was spent.
AAC wondered why, in spite of such huge amount, the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade recently sought approval from the state House of Assembly to borrow N5bn.
Giving a breakdown of the money inflow, the state Chairman of AAC, Mr. Agba Jalingo in a statement said: “Aside the regular federal allocations to Cross River State, the Federal Government paid all outstanding Pay As Your Earn tax liabilities owed by federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for 14 years to various state governments last month. Cross River State got N5.3bn, which was paid into the state account through UBA last month.
“The Federal Government also disbursed the last tranche of Paris Club Refund in May 2019, and Cross River got another N6.1bn. Governor Ayade also recently told the world he sold rice seeds and seedlings from the Cross River Rice City for N3bn.”
Jalingo said though a lot of money came to the state recently, aside regular allocation from Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), no explanation had been given to the people of Cross River on how it was spent.
In a reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita said: “It is a sad thing that a government that is second to the least in terms of allocation is for the first time asking for bridge financing, which is not like a long-term loan. You people are making a whole meal out of it. People borrow to pay salaries. States borrow to pay salaries. So, we won’t be the first…
On the bailout fund and others, Ita queried, “What is the allocation to Cross River? An average of two billion Naira. How much do we spend on salaries in a month? Has Federal Government not borrowed to pay salaries? Don’t treat us as if we are not in the same country…”