By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—BAYELSA State Government says it will complete the repayment of the N50 billion loan obtained by the administration of Chief Timipre Sylva before the third quarter of this year.
State Commissioner for Finance, Maxwell Ebibai, disclosed this Wednesday night in Yenagoa after the State Executive Council, SEC, meeting.
Ebibai said government has been committed to the repayment of the loan to take off the huge burden it had placed on the state.
The Finance Commissioner also said the council reviewed the funding options before it for some of its key projects and the challenges of completing such projects.
He said: “To achieve its target, government has expanded the contractor infrastructure finance development scheme, which will give contractors access to funds directly from banks based on milestones.
“With the scheme, contractors can approach banks to secure loan and execute their projects, while the state government will act as a guarantor and ensure that the loans are repaid based on the job done.
“It is a sort of a Public Private Partnership. It involves the government, the contractors and the banks. We are not borrowing, but the contractors are. We will only guarantee payment based on job done. By this, we are sure to complete some of our key projects.”
Sand filling of Nembe/Brass Road
Ebibai stated that government was determined to start the sand filling of the Nembe/Brass Road while working to complete the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road, Yenegoa/Oporoma Road and other projects.
On his part, Secretary to the State Government, Kemela Okara, said a committee was set up to work out modalities to access the N3 billion agricultural fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Okara noted that the funds are targeted at enterprise development for small and medium scale entrepreneurs and those seeking to be self-employed.
According to him, the funds will assist Bayelsans, especially women and youths to grow their businesses and prosper and forget the habit of chasing limited white collar jobs.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Doodei Week stressed that the enterprise development loan comes with little interest rates and will encourage farmers to expand their trade and become more sufficient.
On the launch of Rise Bayelsa, the Commissioner for Environment, Ebipatei Apaingolo, said it is a new brand of campaign to send a message to the world that the state is ready to stand up against environmental degradation and all forms of injustice.