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Governor Otu Denies Taking Fresh Loans

 

The Cross River State Governor, Bassey Out, has denied taking nor signing any fresh loan, both domestic and foreign, since the inception of his administration on May 29, 2023, till date.

The Governor’s reaction follows the figures presented on the spreadsheet of the Debt Management Office (DMO) and posted on their website.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Nsa Gill, Governor Otu wondered how the Debt Management Office arrived at N220.2billion as the domestic debt profile of Cross River State as of December 2023, up from N204.04billion posted for the state as of June 30th, 2023.

He said that the difference in the figures, subtracting N204billion from N220.2billion is the purported N16.2billion reported as a fresh domestic loan allegedly obtained by Governor Bassey Otu’s administration.
The spokesman to the governor said that “This is not true.”

“There’s no record in the annals of the State government that suggests that fresh borrowing was undertaken; since the inception of the present administration till date; both domestic and foreign debt.”

“We challenge any person, including the DMO, who has evidence of any fresh loan taken under the administration of Governor Bassey Otu to make that Public,” the Governor’s Spokesman said.

He noted that Fresh loans take processes including seeking legislative approvals.

“The governor has not signed nor taken in a fresh loan on behalf of the state.”
He quoted the Governor also as saying, “Anyone in doubt of our position can make findings with the state legislature and even to the DMO. I have taken up the matter with the DMO and they have denied knowledge of any fresh loan under the current administration”.

The Chief Press Secretary said Governor Otu frowns on the what he termed misinformation portraying fresh borrowing and demands scrutiny of the figures posted by the DMO.

Adding, “It is also pertinent that the media and the general public understand that the dynamics of DMO debt profile spreadsheets includes the principal amount plus interest over time as well as other variables that may have been made available to the DMO; such as judgment debts, contract debts, garnishee orders, etc.

“In this case, Cross River State Government vehemently rebukes any interest calculation or any surreptitious calculation that portrays the government to have increased her domestic debt profile by borrowing N16.2billion within June 2023 to December 2023. And the taking Foreign debt amounting to $57.9million within the same period.

“We would like to reiterate that, Senator Bassey Edet Otu’s “People First” administration has promised the good people of Cross River State a very financially responsible leadership and will not borrow except for very critical and fiscally responsible reasons in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.

The governor was said to have directed the Commissioner for Finance in the state to take up the DMO on the figures and ensure clear explanations are given on the published figures which are untrue and unacceptable.

Donatus Anichukwueze

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Donatus Anichukwueze

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