The Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday approved N18 billion loans for Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration following a letter to the House requesting for the loans which will be obtained from Access Bank Plc.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikunyi Owaji-Ibani yesterday during plenary on the floor of the House read the letter written by Governor Wike, who noted that the loan was needed for the construction of the fourth flyover bridge at the Government Reserved Area (GRA) Junction along Port Harcourt/Aba Expressway.
According to him, the loan would be used for the dualization of the Mummy ‘B’ Road to Stadium Road; and Tombia Street to Ikwerre Road, as well as for the payment of compensation for the properties that would be affected by the construction projects.
However, the governor assured the lawmakers that the debt would be paid with proceeds from Internally Generated Revenue before the expiration of his administration in 2023, promising that the loan will not be left for the next administration to pay.
While subjecting the loan request to debate, the lawmakers spoke in its favour, stressing that it would deepen physical infrastructural development and aid completion of ongoing projects in the state. Meanwhile, all the 25 lawmakers at the sitting voted in favour of the request, as the Speaker approved the Governor’s request.
In his contribution, the Majority Leader, Hon. Martins Amaewhule, representing Obio/Akpor 1 in the House, said that since the governor had specified how to repay the loan during his tenure, it is realistic to approve the loan.
“The projects that are on ground justify the collection of the loan and there is no gain saying that the burden will not be left to the next administration of the state,” the lawmaker said. In their separate views during the debate of the bill, Hon. Evans Bipi, Hon. Michael Chinda and Hon. Abiye Pepple said the loan would go a long way in contributing to the economy of the state.