Akwa Ibom State Government has said that the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, may have collected the money meant for the construction of Calabar-Itu Highway.
The government said over the weekend that it would insist on this position until both Enang and the Federal Government stepped out to confess to the people of Akwa Ibom State that the contract was merely awarded for the elections.
It will be recalled that Enang had in a recent chat with journalists in Uyo, called on the state government to plough into the construction of Calabar-Itu road, the money refunded from Federal Government for federal roads constructed by the state.
In a chat with newsmen in Uyo at the weekend, Commissioner for Finance, Mr Linus Nkan, said the presidential aide had no right to dictate for the state, how it should utilise its resources.
Nkan, who declared as false, Enang’s claim of N72 billion as the amount refunded, maintained that every state had its priorities and must as such work in line with such priorities.
The commissioner, who recalled the passion with which the presidential aide marketed the federal government on the project and how contractors were hurriedly mobilised to site before the election, and how they were pulled out immediately after the election, declared that; “Ita Enang is not to be taken seriously. “It is true that Akwa Ibom State got some refunds, but what is not true is the amount declared by Ita Enang.
What Goodluck Jonathan signed and approved was far higher than what we got. The Federal Government merely refunded the money it owed the state and did not have to tell us what to use the money for, because every state has its priority.
Ita Enang does not have such right. He is not an adviser to the governor. “Is it not the same road that Ita brought contractors with equipment to tell us that the federal government had awarded the road for N55 billion?
We are even tempted to say he has collected that money. There is something he is trying to hide. I am very sure he has collected that money.
“The contract that was awarded to him and he misfired the money, now he is even looking for another person to do the road for him. Except he would tell us that it was just for the purpose of election, that he was misleading and misinforming the people about the contract he said was awarded from Calabar, Odukpani, Ikot Ekpene and all of that,” he said.
The finance commissioner disclosed that Akwa Ibom State government with all the industries added to boost the economy of the state was targeting not less than N100 billion as internally generated revenue (IGR) for the year 2020.
“Our effort to boost the economy has boosted our IGR. That of 2019 was almost double what we got in 2018. We shouldn’t do anything less than N100 billion in 2020. As we are doing all these industries, they’ll now pay tax and those employed are also paying taxes to government,” he said.