Rivers Assembly Empowers Wike to Access N14.16bn FG Fund


By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The Rivers State House of Assembly has authorised the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, to access a N14.16 billion Federal Government Budget Support Facility.

At the sitting of the assembly on Tuesday, 14 lawmakers, including an All Progressives Congress (APC) member in the House, Hon Benibo Anabraba, present at the sitting unanimously approved the request from the governor.

The governor had, in a letter to the assembly through the speaker dated June 16, 2016, requested for the authorisation to enable the state government access the fund and use it to sustain payment of salaries to civil servants and pensioners in the state. According to the letter, the state government was yet to access the earlier N10 billion salaries bailout fund approved by the House.

The governor further indicated in the letter that the fund is to be collected in three tranches with nine per cent one year moratorium and Ending tenure. The letter also indicated that the loan is to be secured on future dividends or funds due to the state from the federal government.

The letter read in part: “The Federal Government has offered the Rivers State government, the sum of N14.16 billion as Federally Guaranteed from the Federal Government Budget Support Facility to enable us bear the present economic challenges and continuously meet our financial obligations, especially to civil servants and pensioners.

“The facility accessible in three tranches of N1.39 billion for three months followed by N1.11 billion for nine months and attract a subsidised interest rate of nine per cent one year Moratorium and Ending tenure. Furthermore, it is to be secured on future dividends or refunds due to the state from the federal government.