An opposition party in Cross River State, African Action Congress, has demanded that the State Government should account for the N8 billion the state received from the Federal Government in the last three months.
A statement signed by the party’s state chairman, Agba Jalingo, said the Federal Ministry of Finance confirmed that the last tranche of Paris Refund was disbursed to states in March 2019.
“The MoF statement did not give details of how much Cross River State got from the refund but sources have informed our party, the African Action Congress, AAC, that the state got over three billion Naira.
“Our party has also confirmed that Cross River State received its share of Value Added Tax for the years 2015 – 2018 totalling N5.4 billion, last Friday, May 31, 2019.
“This brings the total amount to over N8 billion, which accrued to the state between March and May 2019,” the party said.
AAC further stated that “As a registered political party, that is concerned about accountability and judicious application of public resources in Nigeria and Cross River State in particular, we demand the State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade to confirm to Cross Riverians and Nigerians that the State has received its share of Value Added Tax which was paid by individuals and corporate citizens for the years 2015 – 2018 totalling N5.4 billion.
“The party wants the state to confirm that it has received the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund and how much the amount is.
“We demand Mr. Ayade to tell Cross Riverians what he intends to do with the said funds which total over N8 billion as we do not want to believe reports that he has ‘already spent’ such huge amounts barely eight days into his second term.
“It is worrisome the way in which Governor Ayade has handled the Paris Refund since inception till now with almost no statistics and indices made available to the public as one will logically expect from an administration that floats the principle of ‘politics with ethics’.
“As a party, we wish to note that Cross River has moved from being a state where budgets and spending, generated revenues, cash inflows and outflows, are hidden and then made available years after their cycle has elapsed, remain sketchy and devoid of details. This trend must stop!” the party said.
There was no official response from government officials as there is no substantive spokesperson for the government at the moment.
The Governor, who is on a trip to Norway is yet to appoint a Chief Press Secretary after the immediate past one, Christian Ita, was among appointees who were relieved of their jobs at the expiration of the governor’s first term on May 28.