Governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in Cross River State, Effiong Nyong has again called on the authorities to demand how the N500 million received by the state government every month from the federal government since 2008 is expended.
He said former Gov Liyel Imoke and Governor Ben Ayade must be made to account for the funds.
Speaking when he received the ADC gubernatorial flag in Calabar from the national vice chairman of the party in charge of South-South Nigeria, Elder Festus Igbinoba, Nyong said anyone can see that there is absolutely nothing on ground in Bakassi to show that such a staggering amount of money has been received in the state.
He alleged that this staggering amount received by the state is shrouded in absolute secrecy and expensed at will by succeeding state executives from their pockets without accountability to anyone.
“As part of the Green Tree Agreement when the Bakassi peninsula was handed over to Cameroon, many in this state do not know that the federal government has been remitting the sum of N500m every month since 2008 consistently to Cross River State. It is called Bakassi Stabilization Fund meant strictly for the development of that place.
“But go to Bakassi and check if there is any form of development. That staggering amount is enough to turn around most of the state. The 50 units of houses said to have been built by Ayade’s government are grossly inadequate. With a little over N3m, one bungalow can be erected.
“The fund has been brazenly stolen over these years, and painfully as nobody is asking questions the two administrations took the state for a big fool.”
Nyong, a veteran Journalist and broadcaster, said if he wins the governorship election such monies and others would be investigated, adding that “state funds are like pocket money for state executive.”
Nyong said if he does not revive the economic structures in the state going by his programme in two years of his government, he will resign.
Amongst other issues, he spoke at length about multiple tax regimes of the state which have driven away private businesses.
He said the state tax regime is the worst, adding that undue harassment, intimidation and scary taxes have regressed the state, emphasising that his government will revisit that to bring back investors and revive tourism.