(Judex Okoro, CALABAR)
The Cross River Executive Council has given approval for the state to access another N1.4bn bailout from the federal government.
The Finance Commissioner, Asuquo Ekpenyong, who disclosed this to newsmen in Calabar shortly after an emergency Exco session chaired by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, approved that memo be raised to access the loan facility.
Ekpenyong said “State government will access the N14.1 billion fund available to each state of the federation from the federal government in order to support developmental projects in the state.
“It is no longer news that the economic realities are tough nationwide and as we witnessed last month, we had a negative statutory allocation from the federal government. Thus, the Budget Support facility.”
“We have now being granted access to the sum of N14.1 billion which will help to smoothen and stabilize the expenses of state governments. And this was as a result of the outcome of that meeting (with Finance Minister Adeosun) led to the emergency Exco to get approval for us as a state to access this funding from the Federal Government,” Ekpenyong said.
He further disclosed that the terms for facility include “a tenure of ten years, a concessionary interest rate of 9 percent as well as a 1 year moratorium which will really help the state.”
According to him, what the federal government has done by setting up these stringent terms is to ensure fiscal discipline and added that the facility will be disbursed within a period of 12 months.
The Commissioner for finance said “For the first three months, the state will receive N1.3 billion and then N1.1 billion for the remaining 9 months of the year.”
He said arrangements have been concluded to approach the State House of Assembly to get clearance and an issuance of a resolution so as to support the exco’s documentation.