By Caleb Tamunosaki

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has received the approval of the State House of Assembly to get a loan of N30 billion.

The Assembly approved the Governor’s request during plenary on Wednesday.
The Governor explained in his letter to the Assembly that the money was needed  to carry out critical infrastructure such as the Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie Road; Nembe-Brass Road; Yenagoa Gateway Road; Igbogene-AIT Road, among others.

Diri said that it was really difficult for the state government to take on the big projects with the lean statutory allocation and resources to the State.

He explained “N30bn loan would be reconciled and negotiated before the compilation and payment of the deductions by the NNPC, resulting from 13 per cent derivation to the oil-producing states from January 1999 to December 2021.”

“In the light of the increasing cost of construction, the best available option would be to access funds through financial institutions and/or capital market and, thereafter, strategically negotiate and navigate the issues around the NNPC under-recovery cost (fuel subsidy and strategic projects) and collect our due portion of the 13 per cent derivation,” he said 

During the deliberations, the lawmakers agreed that it was sensible and logical to source for funds to execute capital projects rather than waiting for statutory allocations.
Speaker of the Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, who presided over the plenary, said, that it was proper for the Governor to borrow adding that the arrangement for repayment was also okay. 
“Borrowing is part of government. There is a section of the constitution that gives room for borrowing.

“The way and manner the money the loan will be paid back is also good. The only way to make progress is to support the government. If you are doubting what the government is doing, you can go to the sites where these jobs are going on.
“Our governor is a very prudent man. Very soon, he will come and present the supplementary budget. Bayelsans should not be afraid. Extending roads to these rural communities is taking development to the communities. The public is also at liberty to go to the project sites to ascertain what is on ground.”


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