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Delta Debt Profile Hits N272bn -Commissioner

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Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, has disclosed that the state’s total debt profile currently stands at N272 billion.
Tilije, who disclosed this at a news conference in Asaba, said the N240 billion refunds from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) was not a loan but the state’s share of 13 per cent crude oil derivation arrears from 2004 till date.
The Commissioner, in company of Mr Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, noted that the State Government could offset its current debt if it discounted 100 per cent of its share of N240 billion refund approved by the Federal Government.
“The total debt profile of Delta State as we speak is N272 billion. Out of this, N84 billion is due to contractors and pension arrears is about N27 billion.
“The rest are the debt profile, most of that were actually inherited by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration.
“And in this past months, we have a total expected refund of N240 billion with respect to the 13 per cent oil derivation refunds to nine states that is ongoing.
“We had initially wanted to phase out many legacy projects that we wanted to complete. We approached the State House of Assembly and got approval to discount N150 billion, which we pruned to N100 billion as bridging finance facility from the N240 billion.
“I did say recently that out of this N240 billion that is expected from FAAC receipts, Delta (State) has received N14.7 billion in three quarterly instalments.
“And out of this N100 billion bridging finance, we have accessed N30 billion from the commercial market,” Tilije said.
He said with the totality of the refunds expected from FAAC, the state could clean up the outstanding debt profile if it fully discounted the N240 billion.
The Commissioner explained that the Governor, being a prudent manager of human and resources, felt that it would be necessary not to allow a repeat of the experience he had as new government in 2015.
“At inception in 2015, Governor Okowa’s administration saw hell managing the lean resources available to the state as a new government.
“This informed why all the State Governments had to take a bailout fund from the Federal Government in 2015.
“The truth is that if the State Government had totally taken or fully discounted the N240 billion FAAC refund, the next successive government will fall back to the experience Governor Okowa had in 2015.
“So, unlike the other oil producing states, who fully discounted their refunds, Okowa decided to be his brother’s keeper, take a percentage of the N240 billion and leave the rest for the incoming government to access over a period of four years.
“Besides, if we had gone ahead to discount the N240 billion in full, we would have been able to clean up all our outstanding debt,” the Commissioner said.
Tiliji noted that every government financed its budgets from FAAC receipts Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), borrowings and sundry facilities and tasked the social media to always report facts.
Noting that the government was transparent and had nothing to hide, Ifeajika said the State Government is conscious of the rule of law, which informed why it approached the State House of Assembly for approval to access the bridging finance facility from the commercial market.
“In Delta, we are transparent, we have nothing to hide. The Governor has assured that all the legacy projects will be completed before the end of his administration.”

 

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Niger Delta

Igbinedion University Inducts 90 Pharmacists

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Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), has inducted 90 pharmacists into its College of Pharmacy by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN).
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, made this known during the 12th oath taking/induction ceremony of the 2021/2022 set in Benin.
He said the induction of the 90 made a total of 1,203 pharmacists graduated by the university since inception.
Ezemonye said the discipline is one of the institution’s flagship programmes highly sought after every year by applicants.
He urged the newly inducted pharmacists to be good ambassadors of the institution and contribute their quota toward advancing the healthcare delivery system.
“The graduates of this institution are blazing the trail in their various fields.
“Today, a total of 90 pharmacy graduates of the Dora Akunyili College of Pharmacy, found worthy in character and learning are being inducted.
“The event signifies the formal introduction of the graduates to the culture and practice of the pharmacy profession,’’ he said.
The Vice-Chancellor said that the National Universities Commission (NUC) approved the introduction of the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) programme aside the Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) programme for the institution.
He added that “in a bid to blend theory with practice, the university recently built an automated factory for the production of disinfectants, antiseptics and laboratory reagents.
“We have since commenced production to meet the immediate needs of the university teaching hospital and the parent’s Consultative Forum Clinic in the university”.

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Edo Supplies 780,000 Litres Of Petrol

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The Edo State Government says it has supplied 780, 000 litres of petrol as part of efforts to address the scarcity of petrol in the state.
It also said it had set up a Task Force to monitor the product’s distribution and sales in filling stations across the state.
The Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Mr Ethan Uzamere, made the announcement in a news conference in Benin.
Flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Chris Nehikhare and the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media Projects, Mr Crusoe Osagie, Uzamere noted that the 780,000 litre-supoly was part efforts to address the scarcity of the product in the state.
Uzamere said that Edo government would also ensure that the marketers got the product at the official pump price and sell at the regulated price.
“The government has heard the cries of the people on the issue of fuel scarcity in the state.
“The state government is working to ensure the availability of the product.
“As part of the measures, government has set up a task force to monitor the situation and ensure that no Edo citizen is exploited.
“We also wish to announce that already, the state has received 780,000 litres of fuel which will be distributed to major and independent marketers.
“And the task force will monitor its distribution and sales,” Uzamere said.
Also, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Chris Nehikhare, assured the residents that the state government would do everything possible to ensure that the fuel scarcity crisis was addressed.
According to him, government will not hesitate to deal with anybody found to be engaging in arbitrary price hike and hoarding of the product.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media Projects, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said that parts of the duties of the task force would be to monitor pricing in the state.
“We want to warn people who hike their prices that anyone who is caught would be severely punished according to the dictates of the law.
“We will guard against subjecting Edo people to pain.
“This government is committed and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring normal pricing of petrol in the state,” Osagie said.

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Warri LG Empowers 250 SMEs With Items, Cash

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The Chairman, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta, Dr Michael Tidi, says about 250 small business operators have benefited from the council’s empowerment programme, comprising both cash and items worth N25 million.
Tidi made this known in Warri at the maiden edition of Enterprise and Empowerment Initiative programme of his administration.
He said that the gesture was part of his effort to scale up economic activities in the oil-rich city.
Fifty of the beneficiaries were given the Point of Sale (POS) machines and a sum of N70,000 each to enable them to set up their businesses.
The remaining 200 beneficiaries were given cheques of N100, 000 each to inject into their already existing businesses.
Addressing the beneficiaries, Tidi said that they were drawn from the National Social Register of Delta through the Community Based Targeting (CBT).
He explained that the CBT was saddled with the responsibility of identifying the poors and vulnerables in the communities of Warri South.
“This is the brainchild of the first and second edition of the Warri Economic Summit, which Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and some economic eggheads and industry personnel attended.
“Part of the recommendations was what we are gradually implementing here today. You and I know that economic progress is anchored on SMEs. This is SME acceleration in every sense of the word.
“This Economic Empowerment programme is a response to the observed deficiencies in the capital base of small scale business operators.
“And lack of investment in human capital development at the grassroots, resulting to uneven distribution of resources to the poor and vulnerable,” Tidi said.
The chairman said that the empowerment was in line with the Okowa’s agenda on human capital development programmes.
“Wherein some small scale business operators in the LGA, who are at the bottom of economic pyramid, are identified for inclusion to access Micro Credit toward boosting their businesses,” he said.
Tidi, however, thanked the governor whom he described as his “mentor” for the various youths empowerment programmes in the state.
While assuring that the programme would come up again in no distant time, he said that its sustainability would be determined by how judicious and efficient the recipients put the resources into use.
“We will be encouraged to do more when we observe that recipients are committed to their business.
“Remember, the council has details of all the recipients and such will be monitoring the extent to which this opportunity will be utilised by the beneficiaries,” Tidi said.
The chairman said that the programme has nothing to do with elections, but rather strictly based on the needs of the people.
He noted that N25 million injected into the economy through the programme would drive the economy of the Warri city.
Tidi said he had embarked on the rehabilitation of the existing boreholes within the council, constructed a befitting Chairman’s Residential Quarters, provided solar light, renovated roads, schools among others that since inception of his administration.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Anthonia Babajide, commended the local government chairman, assuring him that she would put the money into judicious use.

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