By Jonathan Ugbal
The claims made by Mr. Emmanuel Ulayi, a Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on media that the Cross River State Government has not borrowed a dime since Mr. Ayade assumed office in May 29, 2015 may not be true as quick checks on the Debt Management Office shows otherwise.
In a statement signed and issued by Mr. Ulayi over the weekend titled “Cross River State debts: The facts,” He had in what seemed a response to the Chairman of the African Action Congress in the State, Comrade Agba Jalingo’s position on the debt stock.
“From May 29, 2015 to date. CRS has not taken and utilized any commercial loan. We dare Mr Jalingo to counter this, in his counter he should state any bank with a running commercial loan facility taken by the Ayade administration, he should give verifiable details in his response,” Ulayi had said.
But, data obtained from the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics shows this is not true even though the statistics do not show who borrowed and for what, it however shows an increment or decrement over a specified time.
As at December 31, 2015, Cross River’s external debt stock stood at USD136,403,069.67. The multilateral stock stood at USD116,403,069.67 while the bilateral stock was USD20,000,000.
As at December 31, 2018, the external debt stock had risen to USD188,773,736.81 with multilateral stock standing at USD144,873,736.81 while the bilateral stock stood at USD43,900,00.
And by the end of the first quarter of 2019, the debt stock remained unchanged. However it had reduced by USD4.9 million as compared to Q1 in 2018.
This shows an increment of USD52,370,667.14 which when multiplied by 360 which was the value of USD1 to the Naira as at Monday, July 22, 2019 equals N18,853,440,120 (eighteen billion, eight hundred and fifty three million, four hundred and forty thousand, one hundred and twenty Naira).
For the domestic debt, it stood at N115,522,252,057.76 as at December 31, 2015 and increased to N167,955,848,722.32 as at December 31, 2018. This reduced to N167,252,341,140.66 as at March 31, (Q1) 2019 which is the most recent statistics released by the DMO.
This showed that between December 2015 and March 2019, the domestic debt profile of the State rose by N51,730,089,082.9 (fifty one billion, seven hundred and thirty million, eighty nine thousand, eighty two Naira and nine Kobo).
When added to the external debt, the debt profile of Cross River rose by N70,583,529,202 (seventy billion, five hundred and eighty three million, five hundred and twenty nine thousand, two hundred and two Naira).
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