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APC disagrees with Okowa over alleged N150 billion loan

By Monday Osayande, Asaba
28 April 2022   |   3:52 am
All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State chapter, yesterday, disagreed with the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for obtaining N150 billion “loan” from a bank, barely a year to the end of his tenure.

Ifeanyi Okowa

All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State chapter, yesterday, disagreed with the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for obtaining N150 billion “loan” from a bank, barely a year to the end of his tenure.

The state House of Assembly had, on Tuesday, allegedly approved Okowa’s request to borrow the sum of N150 billion. The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, and his finance counterpart, Fidelis Tilejie, hinted that the sum was to pay for the completion of some critical ongoing legacy projects awarded by past and present administrations. 

The government further explained that the facility would also take care of outstanding pension commitments to state and local government pensioners in the state. 

Both commissioners insisted at a press conference, yesterday, in Asaba that the request was not necessarily a loan but a discounting receivables from the Federal Government for petroleum subsidy payments made without recourse to the 13 per cent derivation due to oil producing states from 2010 to date. 

According to him, the funds, totalling N270.6 billion, ought to have been received a long time ago but because the Federal Government could not pay the whole money in bulk, it became reasonable and logical that oil producing states enter into an agreement for some part of it to be paid within three years and other parts within five years. 

“Having reduced the debt profile of the state from N151 billion to N72 billion, it is important that we have so many other contracts that we have awarded within the period of time and because it is a close out of a particular tenure, it became very important we ensure those legacy projects, including the new state secretariat building, are completely paid for before we leave office,” Tilije stated. 

He explained that the intention of Okowa was to ensure that on transition day, the debt profile of the state would be almost insignificant. 

But the APC lampooned the state government for obtaining what it called “yet another humongous loan”, saying: “Okowa wants to spend what will accrue to Delta over the next five years within the last one year of his terrible mistake of a ‘one chance’ administration!”

A statement signed by the party’s state Publicity Secretary, Mr. E. V. Onojeghuo, and made available to journalists in Asaba, said the sum of N150 billion, a facility to be managed by the bank aimed at securing the loan.

This, of course, was against the “expected inflow from the Federation Account from petroleum subsidy payments made without recourse to the 13 per cent derivation due to oil producing states from January 1999 to 30th November, 2021.

“Okowa went further to present what is a most unlawful excuse for obtaining this insane amount to his rubber stamp legislature, claiming that the state’s ability to deliver the phantom legacy projects of his shameful administration is, according to him, “limited by the fact that the expected total refund will not be received into the state’s account in one lump sum” but “will be refunded over a period of five years on a quarterly basis with effect from April, 2022 to January, 2027,” the statement read.