ASABA: The Delta State Government has cleared the air concerning the N120 billion fresh loan said to have been allegedly taken by the Okowa Administration. It said it was not a fresh loan, but an application for a change of loan agent for the already approved bridging finance in the state.
This clarification was made by the Commissioner for Finance, Sir Fidelis Tilije, alongside Charles Aniagwu, Commissioner for Information, and the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Olisa Ifeajika, while briefing the press in the Ministry of Information headquarters, Asaba.
Tilije clarified that contrary to the news making the rounds, especially on the social media, the Delta State Government had not made any application for a fresh loan.
He said: ’’You can recall very vividly that we sat here in this hall and subsequently at the Unity Hall for a press conference and we did say that the totality of the amount we are trying to discount is still the same. We initially wanted N150 billion as discounting facility proceed from the market, but when we sat down and reviewed the cash inflows, we decided to bring it down to N100 billion.
‘’It is that same N100 billion that we had to go to the House of Assembly again last week, because we found out that the lead agent of the same N100 billion discounting facility was not moving as fast as we would have wanted.
“All we did last week was to go back in the same spirit of transparency and accountability to the House of Assembly to seek their consent to enable us change the lead bank for the discounted facility. It is not a new loan; it is not a new discounting facility; it is not a new bridging finance; it is still the same N100 billion that we have been speaking about,” he clarified.
Aniagwu, who spoke earlier, reiterated the commitment of the Governor Okowa administration to work till May 28, 2023 for the good of the state and thanked the press for their professionalism in their reportage.
“Thank you very much for your commitment to the partnership that have existed between you and the state government in the past seven years and some months.
“Let me also thank you for the coverage of our activities last week.
“As part of the electioneering period, our administration will continue to keep faith with those promises of delivering a number of infrastructure. And you also saw that the number of infrastructure that we sourced the bridging finance for are being delivered and in the course of time, we will ensure that all are delivered,’’ he said.