Controversy follows Okowa’s N150B loan request – The Sun Nigeria
By Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s request for a N150 billion discount facility is causing controversy in the oil-rich state.
Governor Okowa is seeking the green light from the state House of Assembly to secure the said facility with Zenith Bank as lead arranger.
But the state’s opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) party kicked in, describing the governor’s action as an attempt to rack up debt for the next administration.
APC, in a statement by Secretary of State for Publicity, EV Onojeghuo, Esq, said the amount was huge, adding that the demand for the facility comes as the Okowa-led administration has no more than about a year.
Onojeghuo said the purpose of the facility, which the governor said was to complete legacy projects and pay off retiree debt, was ghosted.
He said the Okowa administration was mortgaging the future of the state, insisting the loan was a complete fraud.
But the state government, in a quick reaction, said the facility makes it state accruals that were underremitted by the federal government as part of the 13% diversion funds to producing states. of oil.
Finance Commissioner Fidelis Tilije told a press conference in Asaba that the total amount owed to Delta State in accumulated accrued liabilities was N257 billion, explaining that the current administration was reasonable to take about 60% for development purposes.
Tilije, accompanied by his news counterpart, Charles Aniagwu, said the facility would be repaid in five years through payroll deductions from federal allocations to the state.
“When we finally take the proceeds from this discount facility, we will tie it to FAAC receivables, so the bank is not dealing with Delta State in terms of recovering the loan, it is deducted at source and the refund is made,” he said.
He explained that the facility would be used to complete the ongoing legacy projects of the Okowa administration, adding that 20 billion naira would go towards payment of unpaid pension arrears, while another 1 billion naira would be advanced to the Bureau. local government to also clear some of the pension arrears at this level.
For his part, Aniagwu said that the facility is not for politics but for the development of the state, noting that if the present does not take measures to recover the accrued liabilities, the value will continue to decline with the weather.
“It needs to be applied to those projects today so that even when that money comes in, you would have earned today’s value, rather than sitting back and letting the money run out in terms of value.
“That money is something that started as far back as 2010 way before now, and you know the value of the money at that time and you know that FG is not giving us that money back based on the value at that time. .
“If we too decided to continue to wait, who knows what the value would be in the next two or three years. We have therefore made this decision in the best interests of our people and we believe it is the most reasonable thing to do at this time,” Aniagwu said.