The Delta Government has accessed N30 billion out of the N150 billion bridging finance facility it applied for from a financial institution.
Gov. ifeanyi Okowa of Delta made this known while answering questions from newsmen shortly after inspecting the Koka flyover and Interchange project.
The governor also visited the Stephen Keshi Stadium, the Leisure Park and Film Village as well as the Dennis Osadebey University, all in Asaba.
Okowa, who is also the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said N25 billion out of the N30 billion has already been accessed by the state government and deployed into some ongoing projects.
He said that the remaining N5 billion was channelled into the payment of pensioners in the Bureau for State Pensions and the Local Government Pensions Bureau.
According to Okowa, LGAs pensioners are not under the state’s purview, the money (N2.5 billion) was given to them as grant from the state government.
“On the Bridging Finance, as at today, we have only been able to access N30 billion of it and we have deployed it into various projects.
“On the level of work at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, the governor said he was impressed with the pace of work and called on the contracting firm to redouble efforts so as to complete the various projects before November 24.
He said that the state was set to host the National Sports Festival without any hitch, adding that the upgrade of sporting facilities in the stadium was to meet international standards.
He advised those peddling fake news on the collapsed structure to base their reports on facts and not hearsay.
“We were also at the stadium and a lot of work is going on there. They have reassured me that they would be out of that place by the 24th of November.
“And I pray that they are able to do that because the games would start on the 30th of November. We are able to see the main bowl and the tracks that are being replaced.
“You also noticed that the swimming pools, the main one and the warm up one have gone very far.
“There are also additional spectators stand which I am told will be ready in another week from today.
At the Dennis Osadebey University, the governor lauded the contracting firms handling various projects in the institution for maintaining standard.
On the Koka flyover and interchange and the Asaba Leisure Park and Film Village, Okowa said, the projects would be ready for use before the end of the year.
It was reported that on April 28, Okowa wrote the state House of Assembly, seeking approval of a bridging finance facility of N150 billion in favour of the state government.
It was reported that the house on April 26, approved Okowa’s request.
Okowa said: “the requested credit facility which has Zenith Bank PLC as the lead arranger, would be principally tailored toward defraying arrears of unpaid certificates earned by contractors with respect to completion of some critical ongoing legacy projects awarded by past and present administrations in the state.
The governor also said that part of the loan would be tailored toward taking care of outstanding pension commitments to the state and local government areas pensions in the contributory pension scheme, amounting to N20 billion and N10 billion respectively.
“Bearing in mind the administration’s resolve to finish strong, it is necessary for the state to capitalise on the refund to defray arrears of unpaid certificates earned by contractors with respect to completion of some critical ongoing legacy projects awarded by past and present administrations” the governor said.