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Edo govt decries PDP’s opposition to $75m loan

Oshiomhole-kk-EDO State government yesterday faulted the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) opposition to the proposed $75 million loan from the World Bank.

State chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, had at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday called on the National Assembly not to approve the loan as he alleged that the Edo government was overburdened with several loans yet to be paid.

But a statement yesterday by the state’s commissioner for information and orientation, Louis Odion said: “If Orbih is truly an Edo citizen and sincerely loves his homeland, the least we expect of him this time is to, for once, stop playing politics with an issue that affects the wellbeing of our people.”

He said contrary to the PDP’s claims, the previous loan facilities by the state were being serviced religiously.

He added: “In the said statement, without shame, Orbih and his co-travellers told a litany of lies about the situation in Edo, all in their wicked desperation to poison the minds of the federal lawmakers against approving the bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari: from the transparent lie that Edo State is owing workers to the idiotic claim that the Edo State Government took a N35 billion bond yet unaccounted for.

“Every knowledgeable person in Nigeria today will attest that Edo under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole never owed workers wages or salaries; a feat for which the governor has been praised for being exemplary. In fact, whereas many states are owing workers backlog of salaries in view of dwindling oil revenue, not only has Edo been up to date in its obligation to workers, we are also able to keep all our contractors busy at various sites across the state.

“Edo took N25b bond, not N35b he feverishly parroted. Again, contrary to his false claim that Edo is today weighed down by debt overhang, the truth is that Edo has continued to service the bond taken in 2010 faithfully with the sum of N520 million paid back monthly ever since under an ISPON (Irrevocable Standing Payment Order). In fact, the good news is that the State Government is nearing the liquidation of the loan.

“World Bank is a responsible organization that gives financial support to any state or entity only after carrying out due diligence. Of the $225m DPO (Development Policy Operation), the State Government had already accessed the first tranche of $75 million under the 2012-2014 frameworks. In the first place, granting Edo the DPO among other competing states was informed by the World Bank’s investigation and conviction that the state under Comrade Oshiomhole had developed a capacity for prudence, probity and accountability. This time, having ascertained and verified the bouquet of projects the first tranche was meant for and satisfied with the quality of work carried out, the World Bank board had no hesitation before approving that the State Government receive the second tranche.”



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