Ex-senator Ita Enang, who is a senior aid to President Buhari on National assembly, said Mr. Godswill Akpabio used the people of Akwa Ibom state as ‘collateral’ during his reign as Governor. Mr. Enang who spoke to correspondents on Monday concerning the financial situation of the state said Akwa Ibom received more allocation from federations account than every other states in the North-East and South-East, yet very little was done with the money. He noted that from the huge amount of revenue the state receives, there should not be any complaint about non-payment of workers’ salaries, neither should the state be broke.
“If Akwa Ibom workers complain that their salaries have not been paid, then something is wrong with governance. Something is wrong with the application of the funds. Something is wrong with the way you treat the people,” he said.
Mr. Enang said he is concerned the current Governor Udom Emmanuel was taking out billions of naira from the state funds to settle loans obtained by the former Governor, Mr. Akpabio. He said Governor Emmanuel’s administration in Akwa Ibom was debt laden because the state was almost broke and owing one particular bank a lot of money.
He said dues to the loan issues from the past government, the the bank had to post a governor to Akwa Ibom. He was apparently referring to Zenith Bank, where Mr. Udom worked before his election as governor. He also said the bank has now seconded one of its staff as the accountant-general to the state, so that when the governor authorizes payment to the bank, the accountant-general will execute it.
Mr. Enang urged journalists to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out the state of Akwa Ibom finances, adding that government should be free to tell the people the dept profile of the state and how much money government pays monthly to service loans. According to him, the people has the right to know how much their state is worth. He said it was time Nigerians began holding governors accountable for what was happening in their states, adding that it was erroneous for people to think that it was the sole responsibility of the federal government to manage the nation’s economy.
Mr. Enang also complimented the federal government, stating that they do not owe salary to any of its parastatal or to any of its staffers. The federal government doesn’t pay local government or state government workers. The federal government uses its own money to pay its own workers, so if a politician gets his own money and decides to spend it on okporoko (stockfish) and groundnuts, and then deceive the people by saying it is the federal government who hasn’t paid, such act is an insult to the government and the people.
Recall: Mr. Enang was a former ally of Mr. Akpabio, but seem to have fallen out with the former governor after he (Enang) lost his bid to return to the senate during the 2015 election.
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