Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel has denied allegations that he plans to spend a whopping N9.1 billion to build a new governor’s lodge in Lagos.
Emmanuel denied the allegation in Uyo on Saturday while answering reporters’ questions on the controversy surrounding the lodge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that public condemnation had trailed media reports that had suggested that the governor planned to execute the project especially after it was reported that the state’s House of Assembly had approved the amount involved.
Also, citizens of the state had said they would stage a protest against what they described as unacceptable especially in view of the current economic situation in the country.
The governor said that the allegation was the handiwork of some persons who habitually cook spurious and laborious stories against his administration.
Emmanuel who explained that only N1.2 billion and not N9.1 billion was allocated to the governor’s lodge in the budget wondered why people should go about with mischief to discredit his administration.
“Let me correct one mistake, budget is a public document. It is only when people try to change what is in the public document; it is no more than mischief.
“What we have in the budget is a paltry N1.2 billion, paltry sum.
“Let me say, there can only be one governor at a time and God gives a right vision to a right leader at one point in time.
“I think at this moment I need to let people who may not know to know that as at today that Akwa Ibom has a lot of fine properties in Lagos.
“Let me also say that you can’t have such asset and allow it to waste.
“An asset is supposed to generate returns, but there are certain conditions you must put the asset under to get maximum returns.
“Some people misquoted the whole thing, saying have you finished building Akwa Ibom State, why are you going to Lagos,” Emmanuel said.
The governor further explained that for Akwa Ibom’s asset to yield good returns it must be put in proper condition.
According to him, a good businessman chased money to wherever money is found and brings it to develop where he wants to develop.
He said: “You follow money to where money can be found and bring money to develop where you want to develop. I think that is the basic concept.
“Please allow us to put these assets to a level that can yield returns. This is a time when states are governed by ideas.
“We don’t have so much money, but we need ideas because it is people with ideas that will make the difference.”
The governor added that his dream was to make Akwa Ibom a destination of choice for investors and a shining star in the comity of states. (NAN)