LG Chairmen takeoff funds: CRS government blames bureaucratic process for delay

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CRS Governor, Sir Ben Ayade

 By Raphael Ekpang

The Cross River State government has blamed the delay in the release of N11.38 billion take-off funds to  the newly elected Chairmen of the 18 Local Government Areas in the state to the bureaucratic process.

Gov.  Ben Ayade during the swearing-in of the 18 LG Chairmen and their vices on June 1, 2020 announced N1.38 billion take-off funds for the Chairmen, but almost three months after, they are yet to access the funds.

Corereporters report that some of the Chairmen have begun to worry over why they are yet to access the fund barely 82 days after their swearing-in.

But, the Special Adviser Media & Publicity to governor Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita, has said that ‘there is no cause for alarm’ as he assured the newly elected LGA chairmen, their vice and the counselors have properly taken over after their swearing-in on June I, 2020.

Mr. Ita in a text message to Corereporters said, “They’re in the process of changing signatories from Head Of Local Government Administration to the Chairmen. He continues, “It is a normal bureaucratic process. The councils have takeoff funds running over N11 Billion.”

Before now, the Head  of the LG Administration (HOLGA),  was a signatory  to LG funds,  but  now that  the chairmen are in charge, the need for change of signatories.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ayade had urged the council Chairmen to avoid unnecessary trips outside their councils, stressing on the need for them to stay back home and work for their people.

According to sir Ayade, “Remember I am giving you councils that are not owing salaries, not owing pension. So I do not want to hear tomorrow that you are owing.

He further implored them not to engage in grandiose projects but concentrate on simple projects that directly affect the lives of the people.

“We are happy to announce to you that you are coming into office while the governor leaves behind N11.386 billion in your coffers.

The governor advised the Chairmen to work harmoniously with their councilors so as to effectively serve the people as “I urge you to work in harmony with your councilors. There must not be a divided house. Therefore, work harmoniously with the councilors so that together you will serve the people effectively”.

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