Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has presented 54 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to officials of the 18 local government councils in the state.
Council chairmen got Ford Edge, vice-chairmen received Ford Escape while other council leaders got Ford Ecosport.
Represented by his deputy Ivara Esu during the presentation on Wednesday, the governor said: “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 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 councils considering the exigencies of their office deserve mobility.”