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Controversy deepens as Akwa Ibom government, Ita Enang fight over use of FG’s refund

The controversy surrounding how much the federal government refunded to Akwa Ibom state government for execution of federal road projects and how the refunds should be used has deepened as the state government said the Senior Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Ita Enang had no right to dictate to it how the resources should be expended.

Recall that Enang had in an interview with newsmen some weeks ago asked the state government to plough back the N78bn refund funds on rehabilitation of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road project considering pressing attention the road needed.

But the Commissioner for Finance, Linus Nkan reacting to Enang’s comments on Friday insisted that the federal government should tell the people the truth about the road.

The commissioner who was of the view that the contract was only awarded for political reasons declared as false, Enang’s claim of N78bn as the amount refunded maintaining that Enang was not sincere to his people and should not be taken seriously.

His words, “It is true that Akwa Ibom State got some refunds but what is not true is the amount declared by Ita Enang.

“What 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 Enang brought contractors with equipment to tell us that the federal government had awarded the road for 55billion? 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.

“Except he tells us that it was just for the purpose of elections, that he was misleading and misinforming the people about the contract he said was awarded from Calabar, Odukpani, Ikot Ekpene.”

However, in reaction, Ita Enang insists the state government should state the amount it collected from the federal government coffers.

According to him, “I stand by my word that it is N78.2bn they have collected. That was what was approved by the National Assembly and the Federal Executive council meeting and given to them.

“First the state governor said it was N50bn, the commissioner of Works said it was N20bn that was given to his own sector. If they are disputing the 78.2bn I will provide the proof. We will provide all the details and I insist that it was N78.2bn they collected.”

Reacting to the comments that he does not have a right to direct the state government on how to utilize it resources, Enang said ” I was just appealing to them that the Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road is the biggest problem and that they should see the need to plough back the resources to the road because the money that was refunded was 16 years of both former Governor Victor Attah and Godswill Akpabio.”

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