Thursday, November 26, 2020

Bayelsa Assembly approves Gov Diri’s N17bn facility request

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Gov Diri

By Samuel Oyadongha

BAYELSA State House of Assembly has approved N17bn facility request from multiple sources to fund his administration’s policies and programme for the people.

The House which returned from its long vacation on Wednesday expeditiously granted the approval at its plenary to boost the state economy.

Diri in three separate letters dated October 26 and November 9, 2020, addressed to the Speaker of the House and read at plenary by the Clerk of the House, Mr Edward K Owudogu, had solicited the House approval to access a N4 billion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Counterpart Fund and a N10 billion Facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to develop oil palm potentials.

Diri stated in his letter: “as part of this administration’s efforts to cushion the effect of the global economic downturn occasioned by the Covid -19 Pandemic and the dwindling oil revenues, we seek to take advantage of intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme.

“The facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria will aid the state government to develop our oil palm potentials, while the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Counterpart Fund is a pre-requisite for the state to attract a matching grant under the SDGs.”

He explained further that the N4 billion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Counterpart Fund would be obtained from a Commercial Bank, while the N10 billion facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) when acquired would be used to finance the development and expansion of existing oil palm potentials in the state.

In another letter, the governor implored the House to approve N3 billion, as a revolving temporary Credit facility, with a twelve months tenure, to fund state financing gap when there is a shortfall in monthly revenue accruing to the state.

“Due to the global economic downturn and dwindling revenue, it has become imperative to source for a revolving short-term credit finance line to fund gaps when there is a shortfall in monthly revenue accruing to the state.

“This credit line will enable the state government to respond appropriately to critical monthly financial obligations. The standing instruction will eliminate reoccurring documentation costs.

“The facility shall be for tenure of twelve months as temporary overdraft with short-term Cleanup Circle,” the letter reads.

Also at the plenary, the House, in a motion moved by the Leader of the House, Hon Monday Edwin Obolo and seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Ogbere Michael after intense debate approved the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

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