Saturday, May 18, 2024

Cross River Assembly orders committee to investigate how N2.5bn was expended by govt

The Cross River State House of Assembly has mandated its Finance Committee to investigate how N2.5Billion reserved fund approved to the State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade was expended.

Governor Ayade had during the last (Eight) Assembly requested for N2.5billion which was approved but how it was expended was not made known to the Assembly. The Assembly has now mandated its committee to investigate how the money was used”.

A press release issued by the information officer attached to the Cross River State House Assembly, Mrs Itam Offor titled ‘CR Legislators refer Governor’s request to appropriation committee to ascertain if the fund was judiciously used.

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Members noted that the 8th Assembly had earlier approved the sum of N2.5 Billion from the Reserve Fund for the same purpose and mandated the Finance Committee to ascertain if the fund was judiciously used.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rt Hon Eteng Williams stressed the need for the House committees to carry out effective oversight functions and be up to date in the various ongoing projects under their Ministries Departments and Agencies”.

Sadly, the State Governor had, in a letter to the Assembly signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr Tina Banku Agbor, said that, “In line with the desire to make Cross River State an industrialized State, Government has approached UBA for a loan facility of N15B (Fiften billion naira) for developmental and allied projects in the State’’ adding that, “The facility is offered for 120 month tenor at an interest rate of 15% per annum’’.

The House which deliberated extensively on the request emphasized the need for more detailed information from relevant stakeholders including the SSG and Debt Management office and referred the request to the Committee on Finance and Appropriation to report back in two weeks.

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The State House of Assembly has also referred the request of the State Governor for approval for the acceptance of credit facility of fifteen Billion Naira (N15BN) from the United Bank for Africa Plc to its Committee on Finance and Appropriation for detailed study”.

Similarly, the House also considered the State Government’s request for approval for the withdrawal of one billion five hundred million naira (N1.5bn) from the State Reserved Fund for intervention in the Education sector to its Finance and Appropriation committee with a mandate for the committee to report back in two weeks.

The request was conveyed to the House through a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government and read on the floor of the House by the clerk, Elder Bassey Ekpenyong.

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