EHIME ALEX, Lagos
Ogun State House of Assembly has granted approval to Governor Dapo Abiodun’s request to restructure and refinance the various loans in the debt stock of the state.
This is with a view to providing financial relief to the state in management of its available resources, as well as towards infrastructural development across the State.
The debt facilities, according to a correspondence by the governor dated March 17, 2020 and acknowledged by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, before the lawmakers include 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 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 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 House through a voice vote.
In their contributions to the debate leading to the passage of the motion, members including Sheriff, Honourables Ganiyu Oyedeji, Bashir Oladunjoye, Solomon Osho, Akeem Balogun and Adegoke Adeyanju, explained that the approval 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 government at all levels in the nation.
Other lawmakers including Yusuf Adejojo, Kemi Oduwole, Adeyemi Ademuyiwa and the Deputy Speaker, Oludare Kadiri, added that the approval would enable the government embark on more infrastructure development projects as encapsulated in its cardinal programmes, as well as meet other financial obligations to the citizenry.
The governor’s letter reads in part, “I have extensively considered the sustainability of this programme to Ogun State and this include, increase in liquidity and cash flows of the State, thereby providing fund for the State Government for the implementation of socio-economic and infrastructural development programmes across the State.
‘’To increase the tenure 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, to confer significant savings in the cost of servicing debt’’.