PHOTO NEWS: GOV. EMMANUEL SHADES LIGHT ON THE 9.1 BILLION NAIRA BUILDING CONTROVERSY
……………………….Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has cleared the air on the raging controversy over the state Governments’ position on the proposed renovation of Akwa Ibom State Liaison Office in Lagos State.
The Governor, who spoke to Journalists at the Government House Uyo, stated that the sum of 1.2 billion naira was captured in the Budget for renovation of assets owned by the state Government in Lagos State as against the 9.1 billion naira being speculated by a section of the media.
The Governor berated those behind the rumour and dismissed the speculation as unfounded, adding that those behind the rumour were not visionary enough to appreciate investment and development.
His words : “some are saying that we should not invest outside the state, so should we sell those Assets that we know would generate returns?…. The fact is that you follow money to where it could be found and bring it to areas that need development”
He justified the state Government’s decision to rehabilitate the assets on the need to generate revenue for the state, saying that most of the Assets were inherited from the erstwhile Cross River State when the state was created on September, 1987.
“we have good properties and let me educate the people who may not understand business and economics that you can’t allow those Assets to lie waste. They are supposed to generate returns but there are certain conditions that you must put those assets to for it to yield maximum returns”
He explained that no responsible leader would allow those properties to lie waste instead of generating returns arguing that it would not have augured well on the image of the state to host investors, Consular Generals and their Missions in a dilapidated structure.
According to him, “This is a government that is trying to attract investment all over the world. Will Akwa Ibom people be proud for me to host investors, Consular Generals in those dilapidated buildings? What would it speak of the state? This is the time that oil revenue has reduced drastically. If you have something that can generate revenue you polish it and put it back in the market ”
Mr Emmanuel recalled that similar discordant tunes played out when he embarked on the construction of Electricity sub station which has paid off with 24/7 power supply in Uyo metropolis and the drainage project along Nsikak Eduok Avenue which critics saw as a colossal waste saying that residents of the area have been relieved of flood menace with the completion of the project.
The Governor therefore called on the people to resist being misled by mischief makers but should be adequately informed on the true position of things, insisting that budget was a public document which is accessible to all.
“we are trying to let people know that 1.2 Billion naira was appropriated in the budget and it’s only a budget. If at the end of the day we don’t have the money, we won’t spend it but if in the course of looking for the money and it comes, please allow us to put the Assets to yield returns……. Let the people know the truth and let the mischief makers know that they are not doing the common man any good. They should allow us focus and get the best for the state ” He stated.
It could be recalled that the issue regarding the funds earmarked for the renovation of Akwa Ibom state Government Assets in Lagos State has generated debates in the public domain in recent times.