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Bayelsa assembly approves Dickson’s N40b loan request

Governor Seriake Dickson

The Bayelsa House of Assembly on Thursday approved N40 billion loan for the state government to complete ongoing projects.

The approval was sequel to a request from Gov. Seriake Dickson to the Assembly seeking approval to secure N40 billion loan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the request for the facility was contained in a later dated Oct. 30 and addressed to the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson.

The letter sought among others, permission to restructure existing bank loans to enable the state channel more funds to projects.

It was read before the 24 members of the Assembly by Clerk of the House.

According to the letter, details of the loan indicate that the N40 billion would be repaid within 42 months at the prevailing money market interest rate and will be secured by monthly allocations accruing to Bayelsa from the federation account.

Mr Peter Akpe (PDP Sagbama 1 Constituency), Leader of the House, who moved the motion, said the government would also guarantee a facility of N400 million for contractors handling its projects.

He said a consortium of commercial banks, led by Sterling Bank, was working with the government to mitigate the borrowing risks which hiked the interest rates under a Contractors Infrastructure Scheme guaranteed by the government.

He said that the state would also consolidate and restructure existing loans from commercial banks to reduce loan repayment burden on the state.

The loan request, which was tabled before the Assembly on a public holiday, got unanimous approval following voice votes after several legislators spoke in favour of the borrowing plan.

The Bayelsa government, under a law in 2012, declared November 2 as its Annual Thanksgiving Day.

It would be recalled that the Assembly, had on February 1, approved a loan request of N3 billion for the purchase of cars for the legislators and security agencies.



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