• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Akwa Ibom moves to block revenue leakages, begins single account policy

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Akwa Ibom State government has begun moves to block revenue leakages to resolve the growing liquidity crisis it is facing by introducing the one account policy.

The state government is also asking the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for approval to restructure its commercial bank loans into Federal Government bonds and spread them to cover a period of 25 years.

According to Aniekan Umanah, commissioner for information and communications, the state government approved a single revenue account for all monies collected by ministries, departments and agencies in the state.

The decision to operate a single revenue account was to ensure “effective monitoring and efficient management of monies collected on behalf of the state government,” he said.

Umanah, who spoke in Uyo, the state capital, said it was part of the decisions reached at the end of the state executive council meeting, but did not however disclose the bank in which the state government single account would be domiciled.

Earlier, the state government has in a letter sent to the state Assembly sought approval to restructure its commercial bank debts into Federal Government bonds with tenors of between 15 and 20 years, saying it would restore fiscal stability.

“In order for Akwa Ibom State to join other states of the federation and take advantage of this initiative, it becomes necessary for the state to partner with the Debt Management Office (DMO) of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance in this direction to utilise the benefits,” according to the state.

The governor said in the letter that the reduction in the monthly debt service burden of the state would free up resources for meeting other pressing financial obligations of the state government.

According to the governor, the debt service obligation would be done by the state through the issuance of counter-guarantees in the form of Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders (ISPOs) on the statutory Federation Account Committee (FAAC) allocation of the state, saying the restructuring would enable the state substitute short-term higher cost bank debts with long-term lower cost debt.

Governor Udom Emmanuel has yet to disclose the total debt stock of the state government even as he assumed the chairmanship of the Finance and General Purpose committee.

 

ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK