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C’River Govt denies taking N16bn loan

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Cross River State Government has faulted claims by the Debt Management Office, DMO, that it took a fresh loan of over N16 billion.

DMO published on its website that Cross River State’s domestic debt was N220.2 billion as of December 2023.

As of June 30, 2023, the debt stood at N204.04 billion, indicating that the government had purportedly taken a fresh loan of N16.2 billion.

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A statement by Governor Otu, released by his chief press secretary, Gill Nsa, insisted: “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.

“We challenge any person, including the DMO, who has evidence of any fresh loan taken under the administration of Governor Bassey Otu to make that public.”

Noting that taking fresh loans requires some processes, including seeking legislative approvals, the statement reiterated that “the governor has not signed nor taken in a fresh loan on behalf of the state.”

The statement also challenged anyone in doubt to obtain verification from the state legislature as well as the DMO.

The statement further explained that the state had approached the DMO, and they have denied knowledge of any fresh loan under the current administration.

The statement further explained: “It is also pertinent that the media and the general public understand that the dynamics of DMO debt profile spreadsheets include the principal amount plus interest over time, as well as other variables that may have been made available to DMO, such as judgement debts, contract debts, garnish orders, etc.

“In this case, the Cross River State Government vehemently rebukes any interest calculation and any surreptitious calculation that portrays the government to have increased her domestic debt profile by N16.2 billion between June and December 2023 and the foreign debt by $57.9 million within the same period.”


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