135 15 total views, 21 3 views today
Udom gave #15m each to Commissioners for Xmas——Aide
…Financial experts, University Dons, NGO fault expenditure
…Describe it as alarming, reckless spending and of no economic impact
Despite the crushing effects of the economy on Akwa Ibomites during the yuletide period, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel’s Government is said to have embarked upon a naira sharing spree to members of his State Executive Council during the festivity as their Christmas packages.
Latest information revealed to THE INK reporter by an aide of the Governor over the weekend reveals that that the Governor gave each of his commissioners N15 million as Christmas packages.
An aide of the Governor who stated this to THE INK reporter added that some bags of rice was also added to the Commissioners.
THE INK reporter understands that Governor Udom Emmanuel had given his Exco members an order that the money should be used judiciously.
Our source said, the Governor was not specific on what he meant by judicious use of 15million naira by his Exco members. Thus, members who benefitted resorted to taking holidays, advancing their lifestyles and doing other things that did not add positives to the money given to them.
THE INK reporter scooped that New Year packages have already been earmarked for the commissioners not excluding the newly inaugurated. Though, this reporter as of the time of filing in this report could not ascertain the degree and or level of the package.
On why the Governor had to dole out such heavy sum of money to his Exco members for the season, a close aide of the Governor says, the State Chief Executive did that to prove to the Exco members that money is not a problem.
An aide said, “The battle for succession is raging and the Governor must work to ensure that his Commissioners stand by him. He had to close all ranks so that politicians who are seeking a second term don’t capitalize on his inability to cater well for his Commissioners and pull the rug off his feet.”
The Governor is opined to share the belief that in order to have a strong backing for his choice successor, he must as a matter of fact keep his commissioners in one accord so that they don’t betray him when the chips are down especially as there were rumours that his Exco is no longer under his direct control.
But such amount of money given to each Exco member has been seen as a wrong move by the Government. Financial experts argue that Akwa Ibom State has by degrees started recovering its economy, and that more compensation plans should have been outlined for citizens rather than share the collective patrimony of the State to a few individuals, some whose services to the State is even very uncomplimentary.
A lecturer in the Department of Banking and Finance in the University of UYO in a chat with our reporter upholds the view that sharing #15M amongst Akwa Ibom State Exco members just for Xmas Celebration is nauseating and alarming.
The lecturer warned that such tendencies has all the trappings of putting a sword between the Government and her Citizens as sharing such amount of money to people who are already too rich is a delivered berate attempt by Government to continue making the gap between the rich and the poor to get wider by the day.
An economic expert faulted the initiative saying it is most embarrassing and disappointing that the Governor a supposed prudent manager of financial resources would forget the laws of inflation just to score some positive political points.
Our source who holds a degree from Harvard University said, in advanced economies, it is very wrong for Government to share such amount of money amongst themselves at the detriment of Citizens of the state. He argued that the economy of the state risks suffocation with such reckless expenditure by the State Government just for Xmas celebration of her Exco members. He asked rhetorically what will be the return on investments on such expenditure which he further described as wicked.
THE INK reporter who snooped around the Akwa Ibom State Government House learnt that the fund given to the Exco members had since become a source of Concern amongst other appointees of Government and members of the House of Assembly.
An NGO in a chat with THE INK also faulted the package of #15M given to each of the State Exco members, insisting that such weighty amount should rather have been used to purchase packages for poor citizens who directly felt the negative impact of the pandemic.
But some government aides in Akwa Ibom State Government House say, there is nothing wrong in the expenditure.
In a chat with THE INK reporter said, the Governor was right in showering #15M each on his Commissioners for Xmas celebration.