Friday, 1 March 2019

"Stop the deductions now! Odidi tells Ayade on the 300 million monthly deductions for the Superhighway

Mr. Princewill Odidi, Strategic Communications and Development Consultant based in Atlanta has asked the Cross River state House of Assembly not to honor the governor's request for the house to issue an Irreversible Standing Payment Order (ISPO) of Three Hundred Million Naira (N300, 000,000.00) to Messrs Sydney constructions Nigeria Limited for the purpose of Constructing the 275 kilometers Super Highway.


Mr Odidi argued that allowing such request to scale through will only further plunge the state into more debts at a period when the state is struggling to meet up with the maintenance of the debts incurred by past administrations and the untold sufferings it has brought to the people, he said it is unacceptable to incur any further deductions from the states accounts, couple with the lean resources the state is gathering through her IGR.


Mr. Odidi further advised the Cross River State House of Assembly, to ensure that the governor's request go through committee and public hearing, while insisting that If for any reason the request scales through, the fate of generations yet unborn and their children will be mortgaged for the next century.



He also noted that initially, Cross Riverians were made to believe the Superhighway will be built with "Other People's Money" (OPM), therefore, yhe governor should stick to that plan, as the state cannot afford fund it.



Mr. Princewill's statement which was made available to TDN reads in full: 



I waited to confirm the authenticity of this proposal from the Executive arm of Cross River State to the House of Assembly. Having confirmed it, I join other well meaning Cross Riverians to reject and condemn the proposal in its entirety. 



First, the states internal debt portfolio is very lean and our debt management plan is foreclosed. This is unaffordable and a pathway to an economic grave for the state. 

Second, our Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) capacity is small and has greatly dwindled since 2015. The conversation now should be on how to improve the states IGR and not how to enter into more debts. We need frugal financial management of the states resources. 

Third, our Revenue mobilization account is almost quarantined. 

Fourth, initially, we were made to believe the Superhighway will be built with "Other People's Money",(OPM), please let us stick to that plan. We cannot fund it, we cannot afford it. 




Fifth, we understand this is still a proposal to the House of Assembly, so it will go through committee and public hearing. Please send messages to your Assembly members, this proposal must be rejected, we cannot fund it we cannot afford it. If for any reason we allow this to go through, the fate of our children and their children will be mortgaged for the next century.
 

Sixth, While we are still struggling to bail ourselves from the debt incurred by past administrations and the untold sufferings it has brought to the people, it is unacceptable to incur any further deductions from the states accounts. 

Seventh, I appeal to all well meaning Cross Riverians home and abroad to add their voice in rejecting this proposal. 


Eight: Three hundred million Naira deducted monthly from the states account in favor of Messrs Sydney Construction Nigeria limited for the Super Highway is a NO NO. 
The State belongs to all of us and we all must have a say. We call for accountability on how the state funds are applied and spent. 
If the state can afford that much, we suggest to the government to invest more in rural electrification because our people sleep in darkness, invest in primary health care and infant mortality, because our children die everyday, invest in our schools, invest in rural roads, invest in drinking water, not just in Calabar, improve supplies in Ikom, Ogoja Obudu and other major towns. 




While we still support this administration, if you must continue to enjoy our support then listen to the voice of the people. 

We the people have spoken!!. No to any further deductions from our Revenue Mobilizations accounts. We must start the Cross River conversation, getting it right is not an option, it is the only way out!

God bless Cross River

Princewill Odidi is a Strategic Communications and Development Consultant, writing from Atlanta.

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