Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has admitted that his government took over N80 Billion due to what he called “dwindling economic fortunes” accusing his political opponents for spreading story that the State owes is owing as much as N600 Billion.
The Governor said that even out of over N80 Billion which the State had borrowed, N30 Billion has been paid up.
Speaking in an interview in Uyo, Governor Akpabio said: “when we realized that the economy was going down in 2013, we decided to go for the first loan, and all we have borrowed as a state amounts to N80billion. So far we have paid back over 30billion.”
He said that every penny received by his administration as loan got the approval of the State House of Assembly, adding: “I have not collected any loan without the approval of the State House of Assembly, because you must convince the lawmakers on why you need to collect the loan and of course show them the capability to pay back, and the banks cannot give you the facility when they are not sure that you can pay back.”
He said that the debt of the State is minimal considering the quantum of development projects that dot the landscape of Akwa Ibom.
According to him, some of the projects are money spinners that are capable of generating revenue for the state. He listed some of them to include the State International Airport, the world class hotels, the specialist hospital, as well as the independent power plant which despite some challenges is now generating 110mw to the national grid.
Governor Akpabio said all these were achieved even when the State’s allocation which was over N15billion before he assumed office in 2007, had since dropped to N12billion, a difficult trend considering the State’s salary wage bill of N5billion, pensions and outstanding bank debts and a low internally generated revenue profile.