Okowa denies taking fresh N120bn loan 



Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Monday cleared the air over a N120 billion recently approved by the State House of Assembly, saying it was not a fresh loan.


The All Progressives Congress had accused Governor Okowa of seeking the state Assembly’s approval to borrow another loan hence plunging the state into debt.


Okowa who spoke through the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Fidelis Tilije, on Monday, denied the claim.


Tilije said, “We are beginning to see misconception regarding the N120 billion loan, especially from the APC.


“The APC is painting a lie as if it is the truth and fueling misconception over the loan. Let us state it clearly, it is not a fresh loan, it is the same N100 billion that we sought before.


“We sought for N150 billion discounting facility, later brought down to N100 billion. Remember we sent the approval to the House of Assembly but the agent (bank) was not fast to grant access.


“So, we went back to the Assembly for a change of agent. It is not a new bridging finance or discounting facility, it is only a change of bank that we did. Because we wanted transparency, we went back to the House.


“We went back to the House because we are changing the agent. The APC should stop its misconception.”


Tilije noted that N80 billion had been accessed out of the N100 billion discounting facility.


On the N20 billion, the Finance Commissioner said the money would be used for gas plant project in Warri.


In his remark, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, added that the proposed gas plant in Delta would not only boost the state economy but also create employment for the people.


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