By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”After series of denials and name calling, Bayelsa state government yesterday said it was going ahead with the floating of a N100 billion bond from the capital market to meet its infrastructural development obligation.
The move to float the N100bn bond had been a subject of controversy in the state, pitching the opposition against the PDP-led government.
The state government, through the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Ola Doifie, only last week denied claims by the opposition that it was planning to source for funds from the capital market.
But the government, yesterday, recanted its earlier denial by securing the approval of the state executive council for the proposed bond.
The state Commissioner for Information, Strategy and Communication, Chief Asara A. Asara, said while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, yesterday, that though the opposition had created a wrong impression on the use of the bond, the decision of the state government was based on the pressing need for development and that it was a responsible one, considering the mounting pressures on the state from banks on loans secured in the past.
According to him, the present administration has put the repayment plan into consideration with the revenue that will be derivable from the Liquefied Natural Gas project in the state and the resumption of operations of oil companies.
â€œWhen government borrows, they think it is shared. Government can always borrow. The federal government does it and is still doing it.”
Lagos and some other states have done it.
â€œThe floating of the bond is the cheapest way to take away pressures from the loans secured from commercial banks.
The loans from banks are short term and we have devise ways to take away the pressure on interest.
â€œThe state is better than states like Kwara, Bauchi, Cross River , Imo and other parts that have approached the market.
The decision is responsible and those against it are joking. The development being provided with the fund will not be scattered but sustained,â€ he said
Opposition against the bond led by the Bayelsa Professionals, the Action Congress (AC) and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had in the last few weeks mounted on the state government to abandon the proposal.