By Frankie Ifop
The governor of Cross River State, Sen. Ben Ayade, has received commendations after donating 54 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) to Local Government Council officials in the state.
The 54 SUVs comprise of; 18 Ford Edge to the Local Government Chairmen, 18 Ford Escape to the Vice Chairmen and 18 Ford Ecosport to the leaders of Council across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Flagging off the distribution of the vehicles on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 in Calabar, governor Ayade, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, tasked the Council officials to make effective use of the vehicles.
Esu said the governor is prudent in managing resources as reflected in the provision of the vehicles and stressed the need for prudent management council resources.
According to him, “It’s not about giving cars, what is happening is important at this time we are now.
“With zero allocation, COVID-19 and the economic crisis, if we were to rely on Federal Allocation even salaries will not be paid.
“The governor is prudent in managing our resources, if this was not the case the cars will not be provided”.
He charged them to make the most of this and be grateful to the efforts of government in meeting their mobility needs.
Hon. Stella Odey, Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, on her part said the vehicles were purchased through the JAAC Accounts in line with NFIU regulations.
She said the governor kept fund for the use of the Councils before their election and emphasised that it’s a tradition to provide mobility for council officials.
“The cars are not free gifts, they were purchased through the JAAC Accounts and going by NFIU regulations, they were procured by the Chairmen themselves and the funds came through their individual local government accounts.
“The governor kept funds for them even before they came in and that’s why we have been able to purchase the cars.
“It’s their entitlement because it has always been a practice that the Chairmen of council considering the exigencies of his office deserves mobility”, Odey said.
Speaking on behalf of the Council officials, Hon. Emmanuel Offiong Bassey, Chairman of Chairmen and Executive Chairman of Akpabuyo Local Government Area, commended the state government for solving the mobility needs of council Chairmen.
He assured that the local government officials will make effective use of the vehicles.
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