By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed two resolutions giving approval to Governor Ayo Fayose to access about N19.6 billion loans under the Federal Government “bailout” funds and from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
The approval was consequent upon two letters written by Governor Fayose requesting the consent of the Assembly to access the loans. A breakdown of the loans showed that the state would access N10 billion from Access Bank payable in 10 years at nine per cent repayment arrangement and another sum of N9,604,430,000 from Skye Bank payable in 20 years at the same interest rate of nine per cent.
Earlier, while contributing at the House plenary, the Leader of the House, Hon Akinyele Olatunji had called for a speedy considerations of the requests, saying that granting government access to the loans would guarantee a better prospect of paying the outstanding workers’ salaries inherited from the immediate-past administration.
Hon. Olatunji stressed that the loan would also enhance the delivery of dividend of democracy to the people.
According to him, access to the N10Billion Excess Crude Account (ECA) and over N9.6 billion Federal Government bail-out loan respectively would enable the present administration to provide basic infrastructure and social amenities to the people.
“If the government is able to access these loans, it will be able to execute developmental projects. “Apart from the loan being used to pay the back-log of workers’ salaries arrears, it will also enable provision of some basic social amenities in the state,” Olatunji said.
Supporting the view of the Leader of Business, the trio of Chief Gboyega Aribisogan representing Ikole I Constituency; the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Segun Adewumi, and Mr. Dele Fajemileyin representing Gbonyin Constituency said the current financial challenges facing the state would be significantly addressed when government access these loans.
Aribisogan said:” If these loans are obtained, it will take care of government campaign promises to the people”.
Hon Owolabi-Akerele Titilayo representing Ikole II described as worrisome the plight of civil servants that were owed two months salaries apart from other allowances by the immediate-past administration, saying that it was imperative to approve the Governor’s request in order to ameliorate their sufferings.
Another member of the Assembly, Hon. Jeje Samuel, representing Ido/Osi Constituency II, however, cautioned against the use of the term “bail-out” for the facility, emphasizing that the conditions attached to it contradicts the concept genuine assistance.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole, who had read the Governor’s letters requesting permission of the HOA to partake in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) loan as well as the Federal Government Bail-out Package for the Payment of Back-log Arrears of Workers’ Salaries, agreed that the term bail out was not in tandem with the conditions of the package, stressing that any assistance on payment of outstanding workers salary should not attract interest.