‘Abia State has not received bailout fund’

Abia State Governor, Ikpeazu

Abia State Governor, Ikpeazu

THE Abia State Government yesterday disowned the report credited to its Media Assistant to the Governor, Ugochukwu Emezue, that it has received from the Federal Government its share “of about N3 billion” from the bailout fund.

Emezue, while speaking at the weekend in Umuahia on the state’s efforts to pay workers’ salaries, had been quoted to say: “The government has received the bailout fund in the neighbourhood of N3 billion. Abia needed about N6 billion to clear the arrears and government is looking inwards to augment to clear all the arrears.”

However, the governor’s Adviser on Economic Affairs, Obinna Oriaku, who addressed the media at the Government House yesterday, explained that the state “did not and had not received N3 billion bailout fund but its own share of the proceeds to states from the $1.7 billion Liquefied Natural Gas.”

According to him, Abia, like other states, is still working with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Debt Management Office towards receiving the bailout fund.

Also, he cleared that the reported “N30 billion loan” authorised to be raised from the banks for roads and hospitals, among others, is “not loan per se but part of the conditions set out by the DMO to buy off some of the state’s debts to qualify for the bailout fund.”

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