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Budget Padding: Governor Eno Dismisses Allegations

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has dismissed as spurious and unfounded, the allegations of controversial appropriations in the 2023 Supplementary Budget credited to Policy Alert, saying that his administration will remain focused on delivering dividends of good governance to Akwa Ibom people in line with the ARISE Agenda.

The governor who was fielding questions from Government House Correspondents at the Victor Attah International Airport before departing for an official engagement outside the state, reaffirmed his resolve to pursue the implementation of his development blueprint and positively touch people’s lives.

“The truth is that this government will not be responding to frivolous allegations. I won’t be distracted. I have a mission to serve Akwa Ibom State in line with the ARISE Agenda. I’ll keep to that mission and let Akwa Ibom people judge at the end of the day,” he said.

On the issue of revisiting old projects and frivolous borrowing, the governor reiterated his campaign promise of completing all yet-to-be-completed projects initiated by past administrations and funded with the people’s money, while challenging the publisher to show proof of any borrowing by his administration.

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“What’s wrong with funding old projects? These projects are for the Akwa Ibom people. For example, we have to get Airplanes for Ibom Air, these are continuous things that we should do. And even while doing all of that, we haven’t borrowed a dime.

“We will soon take delivery of ten brand new Airbus planes that we ordered. And I know we have to pay them, there is a payment plan and as it is due, we pay. We’re meeting our financial obligations,” he added.

Governor Eno however clarified that it was not out of place for the government to borrow out of necessity if it has to do with meeting the needs of the people of the State.

“…they talked about borrowing, I challenged them to show me one piece of document that I’ve signed to borrow one Naira since I became governor.

“I’ve not borrowed money and I don’t intend to borrow money until I present the budget, maybe next year. If we borrow at all, it would be for specific projects.”

He further clarified that he has been running the government with vehicles inherited from the previous administration because he has not purchased any vehicles since he assumed office.

He stressed that even vehicles for Legislators which he acknowledged as a necessity, were yet to be provided due to the present economic realities.

“Since I became governor, I’ve not bought one vehicle, you can see my vehicle. The House of Assembly members too have not got new vehicles because of the rate of inflation in the country and I’ve been appealing to them to hold on.

“Even the SSG has no new vehicle. So where did they see ninety vehicles? Who signed it? How?” Governor Eno queried.

Ekemini James
Ekemini James
Ekemini James is an award-winning and seasoned Journalist with several years of experience.

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