Delta Govt. Gets N20.9 Bn Bailout Loan Approval *Assembly Ratifies Another N5 Bn For Airport Upgrade

Nigeria, September 10, 2015, (Blank NEWS Online) – loan-approved

The Delta State House of Assembly has approved the request of the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to apply for the sum of N20.9 Billion bailout loan from the Federal Government through the Central Bank to defray outstanding salaries for public servants in the state and to fund capital projects.

The approval of the request for the bailout loan from the governor by the House of Assembly came after the Speaker, Hon. Monday Igbuya read the letter containing the request.

According to the governor’s request, the state was saddled with a backlog of outstanding salaries due to its employees and pension commitments arising from
both the new and old schemes totaling N50 Billion (fifty billion naira).

He said the loan request was as a result of the continuous decline in the state’s revenue from the Federation Account Allocation Committee occasioned by dwindling oil prices.

The Governor noted that states of the federation have been asked to submit data on outstanding debts profile to commercial banks and salaries obligation to public servants.

According to the governor’s request, the Central Bank had indicated its readiness to provide a loan of N10 Billion (ten billion naira) at a concessionary interest rate of nine percent per annum to all the state governments to aid their funding of capital projects, aside the loan to pay up backlog of salaries and pension commitments.

The Governor said it had become necessary to accept the kind offer of the Federal Government through the Central Bank in form of bailout loans totaling N20.9 Billion.

He stressed that 10.9 Billion was for the settlement of outstanding salaries and the other N10 Billion was for the funding of capital projects, stressing that the State Executive Council at its 15th meeting had approved the loan, while the approval by the House was a mandatory requirement to conclude the loan transaction.

The bailout loan request was approved by the state House of Assembly after debates by the majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere on the need for the House to approve the loan request.

In the same vein, the Delta state House of Assembly has also approved a N5 Billion loan request by the state government, on behalf of ULO Construction for the upgrade of the Asaba Airport and its run-way to allow bigger planes.

Meanwhile, a bill for a law to amend the Appropriation Law 2015 has passed the first and second reading at the State House of Assembly.

The 2015 Appropriation Law Amendment Bill was sent to the House by Governor
Ifeanyi Okowa and was read at today plenary by the Speaker, Hon. Monday Igbuya.

The Governor noted that he addressed the House on Thursday 25th June 2015 to intimate them that the 2015 budget as passed in the last administration was no
longer realistic in the wake of current realities and canvassed the need for a careful review of the budget.

After the first and second reading of the Bill, the Speaker set up an adhoc committee to fast track the passage of the bill.

The adhoc committee is to be chaired by Hon. Eriathiake Ibori, while the members are Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Honourable Eric Oharisi, Hon. Godwin Abigor, Hon. Daniel Yingi and Hon. Azuka Azaka. The Secretaries of the Committee are Mr. Frank Onwumah, Mrs. Erijo Mariere, Mr. Vincent Atumah among others.
The adhoc committee has two weeks to submit their report.

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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