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C’River Govt Denies Taking N16bn Loan

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The Cross River State Government has vehemently denied allegations made by the Debt Management Office (DMO) regarding the acquisition of a new loan exceeding N16 billion.

Naija News recalls that in a recent publication on its website, the DMO reported that Cross River State’s domestic debt had escalated to N220.2 billion by December 2023, up from N204.04 billion as of June 30, 2023.

This implied that the state government had ostensibly secured an additional N16.2 billion loan within the six-month period.

In a rebuttal, Governor Bassey Otu, through his Chief Press Secretary, Gill Nsa, stated, “This is not true. I have not obtained any loans. There’s no record in the annals of the state government that suggests that fresh borrowing was undertaken, since inception till date, both domestic debt and foreign debt.”

The state government’s response challenges the accuracy of the DMO’s claims, emphasizing that no new loans have been taken under Governor Otu’s administration.

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The statement also highlighted the procedural requirements for acquiring loans, which include legislative approvals, asserting that the governor has neither signed nor initiated any new loans on behalf of the state.

Furthermore, the Cross River State Government has invited anyone, including the DMO, with evidence of such fresh loans to come forward with their information.

The statement also noted that the government had contacted the DMO, which reportedly denied knowledge of any new loans acquired during the current administration.

The government’s statement also clarified that the DMO’s debt profile reports account for principal amounts plus interest over time, among other financial obligations, which might have contributed to the misunderstanding.

It firmly dismissed any interpretations of the data that suggest an increase in the state’s domestic debt profile by N16.2 billion and the foreign debt by $57.9 million between June and December 2023.

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