Cross River 40B Bond: Government Explanation Unconvincing BY OBONO OBLA

In Breaking News, Business & Economy, Columnists, Opinion

by crossriverwatch admin

Barrister Obono Obla
Barrister Obono Obla

The explanation of Governor Liyel Imoke through his Chief Press Secretary on the reason (s) why the Government of Cross River State is floating a N40 Billion Bond to re capitalize subsisting debts and not a fresh Bond to raise a fresh loan is wishy-washy, tenuous and unconvincing. It is a ruse!

In the first place the Chief Press Secretary (not being a Lawyer or financial expert) is not professionally skilled and competent to explain the technical tenor of the Law to us.

The explanation by the Chief Press Secretary that was couched in technical financial language is gimmick to pull wool over the eyes of the people of the Cross River State to stem the storm generated by the passage by the Cross River State House of Assembly of the Cross River State Bonds Development Law, Volume 4, 2014.

If the essence of the N40 Billion Bond is to renegotiate existing indebtedness of the Government of Cross River State, was there any need to pass the Law? Do we need a new legislation to renegotiate old debts?

I think the Government of Cross River State has something up its shelves! There is more to it than meet the eyes.
Why wouldn’t Governor Imoke leave the business of renegotiating of old debts to the forthcoming regime?

Why the haste to pass the Law by the Cross River State House of Assembly?

Why was the Cross River State Bonds Development Bill, 2014 not subjected to the usual parliamentary scrutiny?

Why did the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly keep the bill from members of the Cross River State House of Assembly?

The explanation of the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Imoke is inconsistent with the general tenor of the Cross River State Bonds Development Law Volume 4, 2014.

Why should the Chief Press Secretary be given the task to explain the provision of legislation; when he is not a lawyer or even a financial expert?

I think it is the job of the Attorney General of Cross River State or the Commissioner of Finance (with advice of the Attorney General) to explain to us the technical details of the Law.

I make bold to state that devoid of all the financial/technical abracadabra and jargons, the truth of the matter is that the Cross River State Bonds Development Law, 2014 is just a euphemism for another round of borrowing spree by the Government of Cross River State.

The same explanation given by the Chief Press Secretary was advanced by the Government of Cross River State way back in 2002 to justify the enactment of the Cross River State Bonds Development Law, 2002.

The huge indebtedness of the Government of Cross River State today is an indication that the explanations given way back in 2002 to justify the First Bonds Development Law to finance the so-called Tinapa Resort was a sham.

Today the Tinapa project has left in its wake a huge debt profile of over N20 Billion! This is despite the fact that the then Governor Donald Duke told us that the Tinapa project was private sector funded!

Even then allocations from the Federation Accounts for the 18 Local Government Councils in Cross River State were diverted towards the development of the Tinapa project.

We were told by the then Governor Donald Duke that these 18 Local Government Councils were share holders in the Tinapa Resort.

However, until this moment there are no records to show that these 18 Local Government Councils own shares in Tinapa Resort!

Tinapa has turned out to be a huge scam!

Undeniably, I can bet that the Cross River State Bonds Development Law, 2014 is a scam by the Government of Cross River State to turn us into perpetual debtors.

Okoi Obono-Obla

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