House okays loan facility for Kwara government
The Kwara House of Assembly has approved the state government request to access the Federal Government Budget Support Facility (BSF) loan.
The House gave the unanimous approval after the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad read the Governor’s message on the request during an emergency plenary session.
With the approval, the state government is free to access not more than N1.3 billion whenever there was shortfall in the state’s monthly allocations
The monthly loan is aimed at assisting the state government to perform its obligations to its workers whenever there is a sudden drop in monthly allocations from the federal government.
The governor in his message said the Federal Government had put in place a fiscal sustainability action plan to be adopted and implemented by states intending to access the loan.
Besides, the message added that in order to access the proposed budget support facility, the approval of the state assembly was required as a strong condition.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Finance had identified and negotiated with potential lenders and had formally convened an offer of a total sum of N14.16 billion to support the Kwara State Government.
The loan according to the Governor’s message will be made available in three tranches.
“This facility when accessed will give Kwara State Government sigh of relief in the implementation of its policies and programmes”, the message read.
The governor urged the House to provide a resolution authorising the state Executive Council to access the BSF loan.
The Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, said through the BSF, the Federal Government would make N90 billion available for all the 36 states to bridge the paucity of funds to support the budget.
Ahmad said the state government would be able to access N1.3 billion wherever the state allocation dropped below expected margin.
He disclosed that the loan was to cushion the effect of financial challenges being presently experienced in the state.
Ahmad added that payment of workers’ salaries must be the priority of the government whenever the fund was accessed.
The House Leader, Hassan Oyeleke said the request was not only meritorious but timely because it was meant to address salary issue.
He said the House had understanding with the state government that the lifeline should solely be used to offset workers salaries.
Oyeleke assured that the public account committee of the House would investigate how the previous loans granted were utilised and for what purpose.
In the same vein, during an emergency plenary, the House approved the state government request to access N973 million loan facility from Skye Bank Plc.
The loan according to the Governor was to finance the provision of SUBEB counterpart funding to enable the state access the 2014 Universal Basic Education Matching Grant from the Federal Government.
Besides, the governor said the provision of SUBEB counterpart funding was a major prerequisite for accessing the Federal Government Universal Basic Education Matching Grant.
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