Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has written to the State House of Assembly seeking approval of a bridging finance facility of N150, 000,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira) in favour of the State Government.
In a letter to the Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, the Governor said that the state was expecting refund from the Federal government, being Petroleum Subsidy payments made without recourse to the 13 % derivation due to oil producing states from January 1999 to 30th November, 2021.
According to the letter read by the Speaker at Tuesday’s Plenary, “Delta State’s portion in regard amounted to N270, 664,218,460.23 (Two Hundred and Seventy Billion, six hundred and sixty-four million, two hundred and eighteen thousand, four hundred and sixty naira, twenty – three kobo) only”.
The Governor said bearing in mind the resolve of his administration to finish strong, it was necessary for the state to capitalize on the refund to defray arrears of unpaid certificates earned by contractors with respect to completion of some critical on-going legacy projects awarded by past and present administrations, and also to galvanize contractors towards completing and achieving significant milestones in the projects.
Governor Okowa further wrote that the bridging finance loan would also take care of outstanding pension commitments to state and local government Pensioners in the Contributory Pension Scheme, amounting to #20, 000, 000, 000.00 (Twenty Billion Naira) and N10, 000, 000, 000. 00 (Ten Billion Naira), respectively.
According to the letter; “The state’s ability to achieve the foregoing is however limited by the fact that the expected total refund will not be received into the state’s account in one lump sum. Rather, it will be refunded over a period of five years on a quarterly basis with effect from April, 2022 to January, 2027”.
“The implication is that the State will need to secure a bridging facility in order to achieve the objectives and the facility shall be secured with the quarterly expected inflows. To this end, the state government intends to arrange a bridging finance loan facility of N150, 000,000,000.00 ( One Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira) with Zenith Bank as the Lead Arranger”, the Governor wrote in the letter.
Governor Okowa also said in the letter that the state Executive at its Fourth meeting held on Friday, 25 March, 2022, considered and approved that the state obtains a syndicated bridging finance facility, of the sum of N150, 000, 000, 000. 00 (One Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira) with Zenith Bank Plc as the Lead Arranger.
The motion for the approval of the request was moved by the majority leader, Hon Ferguson Onwo and adopted.
The House adjourned plenary till 10th May 2022.