ByÂ Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”ABIA State Government yesterday differed with the State House of Assembly over the issue that it had dropped the idea of sourcing N30 billion loan from the bond market for a new $200 million loan from the World Bank.
The government said it was still pursuing the N30 billion bond and that it was â€œon the last lapâ€ of the discussion. Specifically, the government said that it was waiting for the Federal Government to issue it with ISPO which will be signed by the President to enable it access the fund.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Jones Udeogu, who gave the clearance while briefing journalists yesterday in Umuahia, explained that the N30 billion would be accessed in two installments of N15 billion each.
He said both the $200 million loan and N700 millionÂ as well as theN30 billion bond loansÂ were being pursued simultaneously. According to Udeogu, the N30 billion and $200 million will be used to embark on capital projects in the state.
Udeogu also confirmed that the government was borrowing N70 million to clear salary arrears and arrears of allowances owed public primary and secondary school teachers in the state.
Specifically, he explained that the bond, when accessed, would be used to finance the building of a 5-star hotel in Umuahia as well as the building of an international market in Ubani Ibeku.
He said the projects will generate revenue for the state, adding that the loans would also be used to set up three specialist hospitals in the three senatorial zones of the state.
Udeogu, who disclosed that the interest for $200 million was on one percent and repayment period spread over 20 years, maintained that the state was not being over-burdened with borrowings. He said that the government was servicing its loans very well.