Cross River Daily authoritatively reports that State Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade has written the Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) seeking approval to obtain a loan facility from First Bank of Nigeria to the tone of five billion naira (N5 billion) with an eighteen per cent (18%) interest rate payable within twenty four (24) months.
According to a letter from His Excellency to the Speaker dated 5th July, 2019 and read on the floor of the House by the Clerk, Barr. Bassey Ekpenyong, Gov. Ayade intends to use the loan facility to offset unpaid pensions and to fix “other unforseen obligations of government”.
The letter, which stated that the resolution of the governor was reached at the second meeting of the College of Permanent Secretaries chaired by His Excellency notedly pointed that the monthly federal allocation to the state would be used to service the loan.
Reacting on the request of the Governor, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey of Ogoja State Constituency and Leader of the House appealed to his colleagues on the need to grant the said request, even as he begged the state governor to ensure proper usage of the loan if eventually acquired.
Further reactions from the members went in favor of the His Excellency’s request owing to the unfavorable living conditions imposed on pensioners in the state, no thanks to government’s unjustifiable loathe on the retirees.
However, Hon. Elvert Ekom of Ikom II State Constituency craved the indulgence of the House to search for proper knowledge of what the state governor meant by “unforseen obligations of government”. In Hon. Elvert’s opinion, the governor would have done the House more good if he had properly explained what else he intends to use the loan facility for instead of simple classifying whatever it may be as “unforseen obligations of government”, as that only helped in putting the House in the dark.
Meanwhile, Rt. Hon. Friday Okpechi of Obubra I State Constituency held that the governor, Sen. Ben Ayade is known for prompt payment of salaries; howthat, the delay in payment of June salaries could be what the governor captured “unforseen obligations of government”.
After much reactions from the members with none on the negative, the House resolved to grant the governor’s request to secure the N5 billion loan facility.