Okowa gets nod to obtain N20.9b facility for salaries, projects
• Submits more commissioners-nominee • Urges synergy between govt, security agencies
THE Delta State House of Assembly has given Governor Ifeanyi Okowa the go-ahead to apply for a bailout of N20.9 billion from the Federal Government to offset outstanding salaries of public servants and execute capital projects.
Okowa had written the legislators seeking approval to raise funds to cater for the state’s liabilities that were running into N50.2 billion.
In the correspondence salary as well as pensions and other commitments were mentioned.
Giving vent to the letter read by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya during plenary yesterday in Asaba, the members acceded to the request.
According to the governor, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was willing to provide a N10 billion facility at a concessionary interest of nine per cent yearly to all states to aid funding of capital projects.
Okowa told the House that it has become necessary to accept the offer in form of bailout loans totalling N20,936,799,000 billion.
The governor explained that the sum is made up of N10,936,000,000 billion for the settlement of outstanding salaries and N10 billion for capital projects.
Meanwhile, Okowa has submitted five more names as commissioners to the lawmakers for their consideration. The eight nominees earlier sent had been screened and confirmed.
The new nominees are Peter Mrakpor, Bright Edejewhro, Oghenekaro Ilolo, Nicholas Azinge and Ernest Ogwuezi.
Those cleared include Mofe Pirah, Henry Siapkra, Dan Okenyi and David Edevbie. Others are Jude Sinebe, Asupa Forteta, Chika Ossai and Patrick Ukah.
At yesterday’s sitting, the Speaker also read out the governor’s letter announcing the re-composition of the board of Direct Labour Agency (DLA) with former Speaker of the legislature, Frank Enekorogha nominated Director-General. Smart Meka, Blessing Enamutor and Austin Bebeteidoh were pencilled as directors.
In another development, Okowa has called for collaboration among security agencies and government at all levels so as to enthrone a violence-free, secure and peaceful society where investments could thrive.
The governor, who spoke in Asaba while playing host to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Maj.-Gen. Laz Ilo, said it was only when the economy thrives that jobs could be provided for the teeming youths.
“I have always asked for the security agencies, the military, police, Directorate of State Service (DSS) and all other agencies to collaborate and we are on the verge of trying to ensure that we are able to work more closely with minimal funding to be able to achieve our dreams so that we can have a more peaceful state,” he said.