From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has secured the approval of members of the state House of Assembly to obtain N14.16 billion loan facility designed by the Federal Government to states in meeting their obligations.
The House unanimously gave the approval yesterday during plenary after debating on a letter request from the governor.
But before the approval, Majority Leader, Mr. Tim Owhefere stressed the need for the people of the state to be properly informed while the state needed the facility.
Owhefere added that the good old days are not longer here and that apart from payment of salaries, there was need to embark on infrastructural development and meet contractual agreements.
In the letter, Dr. Okowa explained that the facility was to enable the state government bridge some critical funding gaps in connection with the financing of infrastructural development projects.
He said the loan will attract an interest of 9% with a moratorium of one year for a ten-year tenure, adding that the state has met the conditions for the offer and that the disbursement plan will entail the release of three tranches of N1.39 billion over a period of three months to be followed by N1.11 billion over nine months.
The conditionalities of the offer form the provisions for a fiscal sustainability plan ( FSP) which the state is necessarily required to submit before 30th June, 2016.
Governor Okowa further informed the House that some of the commitments demanded by the plan, includes “improved accountability and transparency, rationalization of public expenditure and improved public financial management.
“All of which will entail such specific actions as implementation of centralized Treasury Single Account Biometric Capture of all State Civil Servants and Domestication of the Physical Responsibility Act.”