Delta Assembly Approves Okowa’s N14.16bn Loan Request

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Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

Delta State House of Assembly on Wednesday approved the request of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for a federal government loan facility of N14.16 billion.

The approval, which was sequel to a letter to the speaker by Okowa, was got at a plenary session presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Friday Ossai Osanebi, who read out the Governor’s letter to members.

The facility is a Federal Government arrangement to support states in meeting their obligations at this critical period of the nation’s history.

In the letter, the Governor said: ” the facility is to enable the state government bridge some critical funding gaps in connection with the financing of infrastructural development projects”.

The Governor said that the facility will attract an interest of 9% with a moratorium of one year for a ten year tenure.

According to the Governor, Delta State has met the conditions for the offer adding that the disbursement plan will entail the release of three tranches of N1.39 Billion over a period of three months to be followed by N1.11 Billion over nine months .

The conditionalities of the offer form the provisions for a fiscal sustainability plan (FSP) which the state is necessarily required to submit before 30th June, 2016.

Governor Okowa further informed the house that some of the commitments demanded by the plan, includes improved accountability and transparency, rationalization of public expenditure and improved public financial management; all of which will entail such specific actions as implementation of centralized Treasury Single Account Biometric Capture of all State Civil Servants and Domestication of the Physical Responsibility Act.

On the acceptance of the Governor’s letter by the lawmakers, Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Friday Osanebi, called for debate.

The Majority leader, Hon Tim Owhefere, observed that though the governor’s letter was “clear and self-explanatory” there was need for Delta citizens to be properly informed why the loan facility was necessary at this point in time.

He added that the good old days are not longer here and that apart from payment of salaries, there was need to embark on infrastructural development and meet contractual agreements.