Thursday, 16 July 2015

ENUGU ASSEMBLY APPROVES CONVERSION OF CHIME’S N7.9B LOAN TO FG BOND

Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu State Governor
Members of the Enugu State House of Assembly have granted Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration’s request to restructure commercial bank loans obtained by the administration of Barrister Sullivan Chime into Federal Government bonds. 

Tectono gathered that the loan covered by the motion is seven billion, nine hundred and five million, six thousand, six hundred and nineteen naira, eighty one kobo, (N7, 905,006,619.81) obtained by the Barrister Chime’s administration. This left the government with an outstanding N6,413,942,870.84 as principal and N1,491,083,748.97 as interest on the principal. With long payment arrangement as initiated by the Federal Government, the loans would be offset between 180 and 240 months.

The motion to allow the executive restructure the loan into bond was sponsored by the leader of the House, Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu and twenty-one other members, including the deputy speaker, Hon. Donatus Uzogbado as well as the Chief Whip, Hon. Mathias Ekweremadu.

Contributing to the debate on the motion, one of the co-sponsors and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Dons Uzogbado praised the previous administration as being prudent in expenditure owing to the paucity of funds accrued to the state. He said the motion was apt because it would reduce the monthly repayment of N400 million to a lesser amount to enable the government carry out development programmes.

A younger brother of the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, who is a member representing Aninri Constituency and Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Matthias Ekweremadu, said the long time idea of paying the loan “will help us as a party and a government to do the needful for the people.” Hon. Ekweremadu said when the loan is restructured for a long time, it would be good for the state.

In his own contribution, the member representing Awgu North Constituency, Hon. SKE Ude-Okoye, said the motion was not a contentious one as they were not asking for more funds and urged his colleagues that the motion be put to question.

In Hon. Ude-Okoye’s own words: “The motion before us, I see it as a motion like the kind of mission the UN does to rescue our states from financial quagmire that we are into. If it is passed, it will help us as a state. If we don’t do this, what it simply means is that all our campaign promises will be tampered with. I have seen that the Federal Government meant well by bringing out this kind of idea that loans owed commercial banks be converted into bonds.”

In his own speech, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Edward Ubosi, commended his colleagues for granting the request to allow the loan to be converted to bonds and described the Federal Government intervention as laudable.