• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Akwa Ibom: Eno denies rift with predecessor, says monthly allocation not meant for sharing

Eno gifts civil servants 150 housing units in Akwa Ibom

Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has denied any rift with his predecessor, Udom Emmanuel, saying such reports which he said were misleading were being perpetrated by those who were not informed.

He said reports about the monthly allocation being shared were also inaccurate, adding that the monthly allocation from the Federation Account was barely enough to pay contractors, settle civil servants’ entitlements, pay pensions and gratuities.

The governor, who was speaking during an interaction with journalists, said it was wrong to insinuate that the former governor who left office in May this year was getting part of the monthly allocation, adding that such a notion was disrespectful to a former leader who had made personal sacrifices in running the state .

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“This month, I got N11 billion as monthly allocation from the federation account; we spend about N10 billion for salary, pensions and gratuity and N3 billion for the payment of old and new contractors, you pay old and new contractors, the state government cannot fund every project. I don’t want to put money into a waste pipe,’’ he said.

He further said that it was incorrect to say that the state has received N22 billion in a month from the federation account, adding that though he had received threats for not doing the biding of some politicians, his focus was on getting development to the rural areas of the state by establishing one project per local government.

According to him, “this is a new government; every governor has his style. We need to cut costs, the political class should give me up to December to settle. I receive threats on not spending money as they wish; they say that I won’t get a second term if I don’t spend according to how they want.”

Explaining why he is focusing on rural development, he said it was meant to create jobs and that “we are sitting on a time bomb if we don’t create jobs for the youths as the local government councils have donated not less than 50 hectares of land each for pilot agricultural scheme.”

He maintain that the rural communities in the state would need to receive more attention from the state government.

On the ongoing investigation into the operations of the state-owned Ibom Power Company in Ikot Abasi, he said it was not a witch-hunt but intended as a fact-finding measure to unravel why the plant has not been able to produce power optimally for electricity consumers in the state.

“I have ordered operational audit; we are still putting money into Ibom Power, let me understand what the issues are, are we able to transmit power, are we transmitting optimally? If we don’t have that holistic understanding, you can’t solve the problem, let us get to the roots of the problem, why cant we transmit optimally and what can we do to transmit optimally?”

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The governor, who was not categorical about the next local government council elections which should be held in December this year, said it was a political party matter which should be decided by the party at the appropriate time.

He further said that both the executive and the political party are working out strategies and that “if we can get the majority of the people to agree, then it would be done.”

He however, said that he would not oppose the zoning arrangement in the nomination and election of the local government officials.