The Kogi State House of Assembly has confirmed reports that it approved N18.7billion loan for Governor Yahaya Bello, even as the Speaker, Prince Kolawole Matthew said the approval was not done in secrecy.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Femi Olugbemi, on Tuesday, the Speaker explained that the loan is a Federal Government facility granted all the states to cushion the effects of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
“The fact is that the Federal Government of Nigeria as part of deliberate policies and plans to assist states to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in their various states initiated and approved the loan facility to support state governments.
“In line with the laid down procedure, each of the State Houses of Assembly across the country must approve the loan which has over thirty years plan for repayment before it can be accessed hence the Kogi State House of Assembly under Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole in discharging its constitutional responsibility gave the facility the needed legal backing for the state to access its fund that will enable the state to meet up with some of its financial obligations.
“President Muhammadu Buhari approved the bridge facility for all the 36 states of the Federation and it will be accessed from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The facility was meant to give support to States following the resumption of monthly deductions for the repayment of their various loan facilities.
“It will be recalled that the Federal Government had earlier suspended the monthly repayment of the loan facilities by States due to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic”.
He added that the N18.7bn, which would be disbursed in six tranches (6months instalment) of N3.1bn each, is expected to be repaid monthly for 30years, approximately (360 months).
Kolawole, however, reiterated the determination and commitment of the 7th Assembly under his watch to continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to make laws that would continue to promote good governance in the State.