Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Ogun State House of Assembly has granted approval to Gov. Dapo Abiodun’s request to restructure and refinance the various loans amounting to N109.324bn owed under former Gov Amosun’s administration.
The debt facilities according to the Governor’s correspondence dated 17th March 2020 and acknowledged by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo before the lawmakers included: “Restructured Term Loan (FGN Bond) of N55, 405, 175, 055.11 obtained in 2015; Salary Bailout to State Government and Local Government of N9,779,580,234.86 and N9,139,628,430.00 respectively obtained in 2015
Others are: Infrastructural Loan (Excess Crude Account) of N10, 000, 000, 000.00 obtained in 2015; Special Socio-economic Development Intervention Loan N20, 000,000,000.00 obtained in 2017 and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme of N5,000,000,000.00 obtained in 2017”.
The governor explained that the need to refinance and restructure the staggering debt became unavoidable due to the pandemic Coronavirus that has badly affected the country’s economy with sharp reduction in its revenue from oil.
The approval of the restructured term loans followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Hon. Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by a member representing Ijebu Ode State Constituency, Hon.Kemi Oduwole and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote.
The legislators explained that the approval of the request became imperative in order to meet the short fall in the price of crude oil per barrel at the international market, which had impacted negatively on the global economy, thereby resulting in revenue downturn to Governments at all levels in the nation.
Others lawmakers including Yusuf Adejojo, Kemi Oduwole, Adeyemi Ademuyiwa and the Deputy Speaker, Oludare Kadiri added that the approval would assist to enable the goverment embark on more infrastructural programmes as encapsulated in her cardinal programmes and meet other financial obligations to the citizenry.
The letter, as earlier read by the Speaker partly states; “I have extensively considered the sustainability of this program to Ogun State and this includes: To increase liquidity and cash flows of the State; thereby providing fund for the State Government for the implementation of socio and economic infrastructural development programs across the State.
To increase the tenor of the facilities;thereby reducing the monthly debt service and making more fund available for project implementation. To take advantage of the drop in the lending rate, this will confer significant savings in the cost of servicing debt”.
In another development, Speaker Oluomo has directed the State Commissioner for Forestry, Mr. Tunji Akinosi to appear before the State House of Assembly’s Committee on Justice, Ethics and Public Petitions, on Monday, 30th March, 2020 at 10:00am.