By Nsikak Pius
The spate of criticisms on poor and none performance against Governor Udom Emmanuel is still on the increase. And the “Akpabio served us better” mantra still persists.
It would interest the public to note that Governor Emmanuel remains one of the most prudent leaders the state has ever had, and the man, Udom Emmanuel is not moved by accolades or accusations but by results.
Despite the limited resources at his disposal, the State head has been judicious in his spending to cater for more of people-oriented programmes.
With projects like the second run-way in the Victor Attah International Airport, the Ibom Deep Seaport, the Blue Sea project, Ibom Agricon, Kings Flour Mill, Greenwell fertilizer blending plant and other social,basic and infrastructural amenities, Mr. Emmanuel has established his niche as one whose passion in the economic transformation of the state can never be diminished.
Inheriting a camel debt of N2.9trn from the immediate past administration, the Governor has outrightly bern been paying debts incurred by the Akpabio government.
It is on record at the federal ministry of finance that Akpabio borrowed N2.9trn loan, including an additional 85b from UBA while he was governor. The N85bn loan was collected from UBA two days before leaving office as governor of the State. Have you bothered to ask why Akpabio could be so wicked to incur such debt on the State even when he knew his tenure was elapsing in forty eight hours? Have you also cared to ask the purpose for collecting such a loan two days before leaving office?
Akpabio also left the balances of work contractors unpaid before leaving. This the present government has adopted and is still paying them gradually.
As a rule, the debt management office deducts this horrendous debt from the state’s budgetary allocation each time it is paid, including UBA, other creditors inherited and the unpaid contractors. Thus, by the time the allocation gets home, what is left of is less than one third of what is being announced and published in the dailies.
This leftover is what the Governor uses in running the state. It also explains why the pace of construction work in some months are seemingly slow or paused. The reason is not far-fetched – the volume of debt paid that month has gulped down funds for capital expenditures.
Because of his prudence nature, Governor Emmanuel would rather cut his coats according to his cloak than borrow. This is even as he knows that borrowing would put more strain on the state treasury.
Until these debts are fully paid at God-knows-when, things will remain as they are as far as the economic growth is concerned.
Those clamoring “Udom is deceiving us, Akpabio served us better” should look beyond their nose to see if this is not true.
Lets appreciate the man whose humaneness has covered up the soiled hands of Akpabio who could have been quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
If Akpabio served better in 8 years, Udom has served best in 4 years.