By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Niger State Governor, Alh Abubakar Sani Bello, has approached the house of assembly for approval for the government to borrow another N2.5bn.
The loan, according to the governor in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa, is to enable the administration meet the demands for the payment of salaries to workers in the public sector of the state for the month of October.
The Speaker, Ahmed Marafa Guni, who disclosed this at the plenary said “the House has received the request for a standby overdraft loan of N2.5 billion from Zenith Bank Plc, for the purpose of bridging, to ensure timely payment of salaries of state government employees, as well as subvention to parastatals agencies and institutions that operate outside the payroll not later than 25th day of each month.”
The speaker however did not say if the loan from the commercial Bank would continuous in view of the dwindling income of the state from the Federation Account as well as poor internally generated revenue.
Governor Abubakr Sani Bello had on two previous occasions requested and got the approval of the legislature for it to secure bank loans for the day to day running of the state.
The assembly it would be recalled first approved for the government the power to secure a N1.8billion from a commercial Bank to enable it settle the arrears of salaries of local government which the administration claimed was inherited from past administration and got access to N4.6billion bailout offered by the federal government to enable it settle salary arrears even though the governor did not inherit arrears of salary from his predecessor.
The Speaker told the House that the loan facility had 18 per cent, interest rate with a monthly “Clean up cycle from proceeds of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) remittances,” adding that the request “ is in compliance with relevant sections of Nigerian Constitution as amended.”
The House has also considered another request from the Executive to solicit for Central Bank of Nigeria Micro and Small/Medium Enterprises Development Funds Facility, to boost socio-economic activities of the state in that sector.
The Speaker therefore appealed to the House members to ensure Speedy Consideration of the request before them, in order to augment and solve the perennial delay in the payment of workers salaries and stimulate the Socio-economic development of the state.