Bayelsa State House of Assembly yesterday approved a request by Governor Seriake Dickson seeking approval for a N40 billion loan facility. The request for the facility was contained in a letter dated October 30 and addressed to the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson.
The letter sought, among other things, permission to restructure existing bank loans to enable the state channel more funds to infrastructure projects. The letter was read before the 24-member house by Clerk of the House. According to the letter, details of the financial facility indicated that the N40 billion would be repaid in 42 months at the prevailing money market interest rate and will be secured by monthly allocations accruing to Bayelsa from the federation account.
Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Akpe, (PDP Sagbama 1 Constituency), who led the motion for the approval of the facility, explained that the government would also guarantee a loan facility of N400 million for contractors handling government projects. He said a consortium of commercial banks led by Sterling Bank would be working with the state government to mitigate the borrowing risks, which hikes the interest rates under a Contractors’ Infrastructure Scheme guaranteed by the state government. He said that the state would also consolidate and restructure existing loans from commercial banks to reduce the loan repayment burden on the state.