Sunday, Jan 2021

For over years now since he assumed office, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, has copiously insinuated and hidden behind the excuse of having inherited huge debts from his predecessor and mentor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, now as a Senator.

For this, and to any audience with listening ears, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has often lamented his lack of funds to pay outstanding gratuities and pensions to workers. Many unsuspecting Akwa Ibomites often believed him, sympathizing with his government for the paucity of funds to maintain old projects and start new ones. Unwilling to disclose details of inherited debts and despite being under intense pressure from the State House of Assembly members and other citizens to unmask the State’s huge debt profile, Gov. Emmanuel Udom and his aides spared neither effort nor opportunity to emphasize his frugal disposition, especially given his erstwhile career background as a bank executive. It was politically convenient to directly accuse or insinuate that ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio was at fault for having taken so many huge loans while in office. Enraged Akwa Ibomites believed their governor, but least suspecting that Mr. Udom Emmanuel and his aides were deliberately stretching a lie too far in order to discredit the former governor. On June 13, 2018, the truth of the matter bubbled up to the surface, as a media aide to Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Jackson Udom, unequivocally stated in a Press Statement what the Udom Emmanuel government never wanted Akwa Ibomites to know. He was reacting to a social media publication that ex Gov. Akpabio left behind a whopping five hundred billion Naira (N500 billion).

‘’The Akpabio government obtained loans totalling N80 billion only. Loans were duly approved of by the State House of Assembly,’’ Jackson Udom stated.

He also stated that the Akpabio government, in 2015, handed over an unpaid debt burden of less than N60 billion to the Udom Emmanuel government, in addition to revenue enablers, such as hospitals, hotels, an International Airport, an International Stadium, the Ibom Power Plant, a Gas Processing Plant at Esit Eket and others. In an inexplicable twist of fate rendering as a cold war between Gov. Emmanuel and his predecessor, the revenue enablers, meant to boost the State's Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile, are either abandoned or not operating in full capacities. That is why Akwa Ibomites are now asking for where their money is from their governor, Udom Emmanuel.

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