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Diri gets Bayelsa Assembly’s approval to borrow N17bn

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Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa has described Friday’s separate Court of Appeal verdicts that went his way and in favour of his deputy, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as ‘a biblical Daniel coming to judgement’. The appellate court, in a unanimous decision, overturned the Aug. 15 tribunal judgment in favour of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), which had nullified Diri’s Nov. 16, 2019 election. The court, on same day, also dismissed the Liberation Movement’s appeal against the deputy governor. Diri, in a press release by his spokesman, Mr Daniel Alabrah, thanked God for the victory and applauded the five-man panel of Justices for upholding the law. “I want to thank God for this victory. Today, a Daniel came to judgement in the name of the Court of Appeal, which has given the true position of the law and we are happy about it.” the governor said. He said his administration was instituted by God, and as a messenger, he was only holding brief for Him. The governor noted that the governorship candidate of the ANDP, King George, had earlier withdrawn his case at the tribunal and equally left the party. He wondered why some persons would remote-control the purported chairman of the party. While appealing for support, Diri described the litany of electoral cases as distractions, stressing that it was time the “portfolio political parties” stopped fanning the embers of disunity in the state. “For those who are fanning the embers of disunity in our state using portfolio political parties, this is a time to put a full stop to it. ”If they really love the state, why are they still fanning the embers of destabilisation and moving on to unseat us? “The governor of Bayelsa State is God Himself. I have told those who care to listen that I am only a messenger-governor. The governor of Bayelsa is His Excellency the Supreme Leader of the universe and that is God Himself. “He kept me here to hold brief for Him and you cannot unseat God. There is a God that rules over the affairs of men and that God that has brought me here will protect me, my deputy governor and everybody put together to lead this government.” Diri said. He called on the political class to exercise caution and desist from divisive politics, particularly as the senatorial by-elections were fast approaching.Gov. Douye Diri has secured the approval of the Bayelsa House of Assembly to obtain N17 billion loan from multiple sources.

The approval followed a motion moved on Thursday by the House Leader, Monday Obolo, (Southern Ijaw Constituency 2) and seconded by Charles Daniel, (Brass Constituency I).

Diri had in three separate letters dated Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, addressed to the speaker, solicited the assembly’s approval for the loan.

He requested approval to access N4 billion for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) counterpart fund and N10 billion facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for oil palm project.

In another request, the governor sought approval for N3 billion loan – a revolving temporary credit facility, to fund state financing gap.

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“As part of this administration’s efforts to cushion the effect of the global economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the dwindling oil revenues, we seek to take advantage of intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme.

“The facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria will aid the state government to develop our oil palm potential, while the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) counterpart fund is a pre-requisite for the state to attract a matching grant under the SDGs,’’ he said.

He explained that the N4 billion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) counterpart fund would be obtained from a commercial bank.

On the N3 billion loan, Diri said, “Due to the global economic downturn and dwindling revenue, it has become imperative to source for a revolving short-term credit finance line to fund gaps when there is a short fall in monthly revenue accruing to the state.

“This credit line will enable the state government to respond appropriately to critical monthly financial obligations. The standing instruction will eliminate reoccurring documentation costs.

“The facility shall be for tenure of 12 months as temporary overdraft with short-term clean up circle.’’

The assembly also approved the governor’s request to appoint additional 10 special advisers. (NAN).

Vanguard News Nigeria

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