We didn’t approve N18.7Billion for Gov. Bello secretly – Kogi Speaker
The Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly Prince Mathew Kolawole has cleared the air on why the 7th Assembly approved N18.7Billion loan sent to the House by Governor Yahaya Bello.
Kolawole debunked an online media report, that the N18.7billon loan from the Federal Government to Kogi State was secretly approved at the Speaker’s lodge and not the Assembly.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Femi Olugbemi, on Tuesday, the Speaker noted that the online report was orchestrated to incite the general public and indeed Kogites against the Kogi State Government, Governor Yahaya Bello and the Kogi State House of Assembly.
According to him, the Federal Government loan facility granted to the 36 states was part of a deliberate policy to ameliorate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Continuing, the speaker said, “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.