By Margaret Umoren
The Commissioner for Finance, Dr Linus Nkan, has said the State Government followed due process in all its financial engagements and has never obtained any loan illegally.
The Commissioner was responding to misleading report published by an Akwa Ibom State-based Civil Society Organisation which alleged that State Government flouted fiscal responsibility law in some of its financial transactions.
Dr Nkan at a press briefing in his office on Wednesday 8th November, said the State government did not circumvent any procedure or process in the loans it acquired for projects.
The Commissioner asserted that Governor Umo Eno’s administration has not obtained any new loans since inception, saying, rather the administration is saving money for development projects earmarked for 2024.
He said to promote accountability and financial discipline, the previous administration obtained projects-tied loans from commercial banks, debunking statements that government disobeyed financial regulations by obtaining loans for select construction companies in the State.
He also explained that the past administration obtained loans from Zenith Bank to finance capital projects owing to its low interest rate, which was more advantageous to the State.
The Commissioner said as a matter of policy, to keep to its contractual liabilities, government has to budget for some projects initiated by previous administrations.
The State Accountant- General, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien advised the media to always confirm information from relevant authorities to ensure a balanced reportage.
Pastor Andrew- Essien said the State government is opened to interactions and questions from the media and other sections of the public.