Cross River state Governor, Professor Ben Tuesday decried the stealing of government assets in the twilight of his administration.
The governor spoke at the State Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar while swearing in Udiba Udiba as the state’s Commissioner for Assets Management and Martins Osibe as a Commissioner in the Cross River Civil Service Commission.
Ayade at the occasion disbanded the state’s Scraps Metal Regulatory Agency, accusing it of unwholesome activities.
The office of the Commissioner for Assets Management, according to the Governor, “has the responsibility to document every single asset that belongs to this state.
“Cross River has a very sad story regarding assets remittances. Our assets have often been taken away because we do not have inventory of them.
“In this time and age, people still see government assets as nobody’s assets. As government is winding down, they convert official cars and change number plates and hide the cars from government.
“Some people move from one Ministry to the other taking government assets. They disappear with assets and take them away,” he rued.
Speaking further, the governor disclosed that “government vehicles are disappearing. If a vehicle has a small dent and it is sent to mechanic workshop, they will disappear from there. Government will buy official vehicles that are functional and somebody will seize them and say it is scrap.
“We must have an asset register for the state, indicating that if you go to Obudu for instance, this particular building belongs to Ministry of Agriculture, this particular land belongs to the state and it is a property of the Cross River State Government,”
He berated the disbanded Scrap Metal Agency for illegally pilfering government assets, including dumpsters and labelling them as scraps.
“I hear a particular Agency called Scrap Metal Agency Regulatory Agency is going around causing problems, seizing everything saying they are scraps.
“Let me use this responsibility to announce that the Scrap Metal Regulatory Agency is hereby scrapped. The Agency will no longer exist because it will now come under Asset Management Ministry “, Ayade said.
Describing the new Commissioner, who before his elevation was the Director-General of the state’s Bureau for Public Private Partnership, as a honest man and one of the pillars of his administration, the governor expressed optimism he deliver in his new assignment.
He, therefore, asked the new commissioner to immediately hit the ground running.
Responding, Udiba, a former banker, thanked the Governor for appointing him and pledged to carry out his job without fear or favour.