Governor Ibikunle Amosun
By Sheriff Balogun
Ogun State House of Assembly Thursday granted the request of Governor Ibikunle Amosun to raise N7.5 billion loan to finance some road projects across the state.
The Assembly presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, however, shelved the passage of the controversial executive bill seeking an enabling law to raise bonds and other financial instruments.
Though the executive bill was slated on the Order paper of the Assembly, it was not raised at the sitting apparently due to the failure of the lawmakers to reach a consensus on some sections of the bill.
The Assembly, however, passed into law a bill seeking the establishment of Ogun State Debt Management Office.
Reading Amosun’s letter dated September 26, and addressed to the Assembly, the Speaker said the governor requested to obtain internal loan of N7.5 billion from some banks.
Adekunbi disclosed that the loan, described as a medium term financing, was tied to 11 major road projects across the state.
He added that the loan would be used to pay adequate compensation to people whose property and structures would be demolished in the process of road construction.
In their various submissions, most of the lawmakers supported the loan bid, noting that it had formed part of the proposed N40 billion already approved in the 2012 Appropriation Law by the Assembly.
Upon a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Hon. Israel Jolaoso, and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Job Akintan, the lawmakers unanimously endorsed the loan request.
The speaker later adjourned sitting till next Tuesday, while speaking on why the Assembly failed to treat the bond bill, a lawmaker said some controversial clauses in the bill were responsible for the delay.
The lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Assembly had been under pressure from the governor’s camp to pass the bond bill without effecting necessary amendment.
“We are still working on the bill. There are some clauses that are inimical to the interests of the state in the bill and we want these checked. We want to maintain our integrity. The Assembly wants to follow due process by complying with the public opinion on the bond bill,” the legislator added.