Akwa Ibom State Government said it did not collect a N10 billion loan for road projects.
Commissioner for Finance, Akan Okon, told journalists yesterday in Uyo that the loan was not for the government as purported, as it only guaranteed it for a contractor handling a major road project.
“There is a difference between taking a loan and being a guarantor. The true position is that government did not take any loan but only stood as surety for a contracting firm handling road projects in the state to avoid variations in contract sum and unnecessary delay in job execution.
“The contractor is the one taking the loan to finance the road project pending when his money would be paid by the state government. Government consented to ensure that construction of cardinal infrastructure like roads do not suffer because of funds constraint.”
He maintained that the state would benefit from the arrangement, noting that apart from timely delivery, it would also save extra cost that would have been incurred as a result of work delay.
“This will enable government to pay in bits on a monthly basis as against lump sums to contractors, thereby freeing funds for other developmental projects,” Okon said.
The commissioner also refuted a recent allegation by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Senate Matters, Senator Ita Enang, that government was using the state’s resources to settle huge debts incurred by the immediate past administration.
“I do not understand why some people in public office can just say things without getting their facts right. You are all aware that at the expiration of the last administration, all government loans were converted to federal government bond and the process was an open one. Senator Enang did not get his facts right.”
He maintained that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration remains transparent and accountable to the people and should be commended for his ingenuity and expertise on fiscal management for the benefit of the state.

READ ALSO  How developing is Nigeria’s democracy?