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C’River paid N55bn debts in 12 months, Otu



Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River has said that since assumption of office on May 29, 2023, a total of N55 billion had been paid to offset debts and contractual obligations.

Addressing newsmen at a dinner to give his administration’s stewardship, on Thursday night in Calabar, Otu said that the government achieved this through prudent management of resources.

“These are debt we met and which we must begin to pay if the state is to move forward,” he said.

The governor also refuted N220.20 billion debt burden purportedly owed by the state published by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The DMO had said that the state recorded 8 per cent increase in domestic debt profile after the present government borrowed the sum of N16.15 billion.

According to the DMO, the state debt burden rose from N204.05 billion to N220. 20 billion in six months.

“On the much talked about debt burden of the state, I wish to clarify that the error that was caused by the Budget Office of the Federal Ministry of Finance has been corrected and the adjusted figure shall be uploaded on their website soonest,” he clarified.

Otu also said his government had reactivated the state reserve fund account, which at present has a balance of N3.7 billion.

“We have also initiated the process of valuing critical assets of the state; which will invariably expand our investment portfolio,” he said.

The governor said further that the state had introduced full automation of revenue collection.

The essence, according to him, was to to monitor major revenue generating ministries, departments and agencies as well as block leakages.

Otu said that autmation of the system was also to facilitate deployment of necessary measures to collect revenue from micro and small business in rural areas across the state.

“From June 2023 to May 2024, the State internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has grown by 60.6 per cent to N36.3 billion,” he said.

Ehigimetor Igbaugba

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