Gov. Douye Diri has secured the approval of the Bayelsa House of Assembly to obtain N17 billion loan from multiple sources.
The approval followed a motion moved on Thursday by the House Leader, Monday Obolo, (Southern Ijaw Constituency 2) and seconded by Charles Daniel, (Brass Constituency I).
Diri had in three separate letters dated Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, addressed to the speaker, solicited the assembly’s approval for the loan.
He requested approval to access N4 billion for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) counterpart fund and N10 billion facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for oil palm project.
In another request, the governor sought approval for N3 billion loan – a revolving temporary credit facility, to fund state financing gap.
“As part of this administration’s efforts to cushion the effect of the global economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the dwindling oil revenues, we seek to take advantage of intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme.
“The facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria will aid the state government to develop our oil palm potential, while the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) counterpart fund is a pre-requisite for the state to attract a matching grant under the SDGs,’’ he said.
He explained that the N4 billion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) counterpart fund would be obtained from a commercial bank.
On the N3 billion loan, Diri said, “Due to the global economic downturn and dwindling revenue, it has become imperative to source for a revolving short-term credit finance line to fund gaps when there is a short fall in monthly revenue accruing to the state.
“This credit line will enable the state government to respond appropriately to critical monthly financial obligations. The standing instruction will eliminate reoccurring documentation costs.
“The facility shall be for tenure of 12 months as temporary overdraft with short-term clean up circle.’’
The assembly also approved the governor’s request to appoint additional 10 special advisers.