Abia State government has received the nod of the State House of Assembly to borrow a total of N30.7 billion to tackle pressing problems facing the state.
Deputy Speaker of the Abia House of Assembly, Chief Chinedum Elechi, who disclosed this to newsmen during the monthly briefing of the legislature, said the House has approved the request by the Executive arm of the government to borrow $200 million (N30 Billion) from the World Bank for developmental projects and another N700 million from Nigerian Commercial banks for the sole purpose of paying arrears of salaries owed secondary school teachers in the state.
Elechi said the World Bank loan was an alternative to the N30 billion bond which the House had in march passed into law for the state to shop from the capital market but the state was yet to access the bond market due to some hiccups.
He said: “You may also know that the Abia State House of Assembly (ABHA) gave resolution to the Executive arm of government requesting our approval to borrow $200 million from the World Bank for developmental projects.
“You may recall that ABHA had passed the N30 Billion Bond Law when the executive requested to borrow money from the Bond market to help its developmental projects in the state. But some how, up till now; the process has not been concluded. It was more or less, we have passed the law alright and with so many amendments. That law involved so many agencies and there were very stringent conditions.
“I believe that somewhere along the line, the executive arm of government has not been able to access the bond market for the purpose of this bond and then this World Bank deal had come which had better conditions for repayment and then the amount is also very close to what the executive was seeking in the bond market.
“So, pretty much, I think the bond thing has been kept aside and the World Bank Loan is probably going to be faster to get to the state and then the conditions for paying back and interest are better for the state. So, basically the Abia House of Assembly has given approval to the Abia State Executive arm to borrow the $200 million which they require. So, we have given the approval in principle.”
Similarly, according to Elechi, the House approved the request of the executive to borrow N700 Million from commercial banks to offset teachers’ arrears of salaries.
“After due consideration, the executive arm of government decided it should borrow money internally to be able to pay teachers salaries. So this House of Assembly has given an approval to the executive arm to borrow N700 million from the Nigerian banks with a view to paying off Teachers Salaries so that teachers and their families can also enjoy the holidays,” Elechi said.
The Deputy Speaker who is also the Chairman House Committee on Information, Culture and Tourism said the House has waded into the political battle between former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, with a view to ending the rift which led the Imo State House of Assembly to issue a warrant of arrest for Kalu.
He said that both Houses of Abia and Imo have met over the issue.
On the on-going alleged face-off between Abia Governor, Chief Theodore Orji and Kalu, Elechi declared that there was no dispute between the two PPA juggernauts.
Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room
The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”
Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill
The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.
2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria
Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.
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