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Niger Delta

Delta Denies Seeking Fresh N100bn Loan

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Delta State Government has cleared the air on myriad of claims that it was seeking new loans from banks ahead of the 2023 general elections.
It alleged that the misinformation is being peddled by the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, saying the state was not seeking fresh N100 billion loan as being alleged.
Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, stated this at a joint press conference with his Information counterpart, Charles Aniagwu and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba.
He recalled that the State Government had earlier received an approval from the House of Assembly to obtain N150 billion bridging finance from the N240 billion accrued refunds to the state on the 13 per cent Derivation Policy.
He said the needed facility was later reduced to N100 billion by the state government after deliberation with finance houses involved in the arrangement.
According to him, after the discussion a new lead-finance-house emerged as against the one that was the leader at the time the House of Assembly gave the approval for the government to obtain the bridging finance facility.
He, therefore, explained that with the emergence of a new leading finance agent on the facility, and because of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s strict adherence to due process and law, “we went to the House of Assembly for a fresh resolution on their existing approval in line with prudential guidelines”.
He said: “I am drawn into this because we are beginning to see some misconceptions, particularly with regards to the N100 billion discounting facility that the state haas taken.
“I recall very vividly too that we have had news conferences where we said that the totality of the amount that we are trying to discount is still the same.
“We intended to take N150 billion as discounting facility from the market. But, when we reviewed the cash inflows, we reduced it to N100 billion.
“It is that same N100 billion that we have to go again to the House of Assembly last week because we found out that the lead agent of the said facility was not moving as fast as we want.
“So, all we did last week was to go back to the House of Assembly to seek their consent to enable us change the lead bank for that discounting facility.
“It is not a new loan, discounting facility nor a new bridging finance. It is still the same N100 billion we have been talking about.
“I know that in certain other states, the need to go to the House of Assembly may not even arise. This is because the responsibility of determining who is a lead agent in such a facility, lies squarely on the Executive.
“But, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, in his usual manner, felt that whatever alteration we are going to be making, we must still go back to the House of Assembly for consent.
“You will also recall too that while we were here before to brief you on this matter, we itemised all the projects we will be doing with the facility, and we are on course with these projects.
“For those who do not have the details of the projects tied to this discounting facility, they can go to the House of Assembly. It is a public document.”
On the other N20 billion facility, Tilije said it was a loan for an investment by the State Government in a floating gas company to be situated in Warri.
He said the State Government gave the company the condition of siting the company in Warri before it could invest in the project.
The Finance Commissioner further said that when completed, the project would provide jobs for citizens and increase the state’s internally-generated revenue.
On his part, Aniagwu said a number of the projects listed in the request for the bridging facility were being delivered, adding that some were inaugurated last week by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
He said the state government would continue to be transparent and accountable to the people of the state as promised by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Vice-Presidential Candidate of the PDP.

By: Albert Ograka,
Asaba

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Niger Delta

Eid-el Kabir: NSCDC Mobilises 1,210 Personnel In Edo

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Edo Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 1,210 personnel to ensure maximum security during the forthcoming Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Efosa Ogbebor, in a statement on Friday in Benin, said NSCDC would provide maximum security at various Eid praying grounds, palaces, monuments and recreational centres across the state during the festivities.
Ogbebor stated that the NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Gbenga Agun, assured residents of security of their lives and property before, during and after the festival.
“I have directed all commanders, heads of tactical units, Area Commanders and Divisional Officers to ensure smooth, crime-free and secure celebration before, during and after the Eid-el Kabir festival.
“The personnel deployed have been tasked with critical responsibilities of safeguarding national assets and infrastructure, a core mandate of the corps, protection of lives and property and crowd control, amongst others.
“NSCDC personnel will work in collaboration with other sister-agencies”, he said.
The NSCDC boss appealed to members of the public to give maximum cooperation to the personnel and support them with useful information about criminal elements.
The Commandant felicitated with all Muslims and wished them joyous Eid-el Kabir celebrations.

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Niger Delta

Delta Assembly Recalls Suspended Lawmaker

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The Delta State House of Assembly last Thursday in Asaba recalled its member, Mr Matthew Omonade (APC-Ughelli North I), after 29 days of suspension.
The recall was announced during plenary by the Speaker, Mr Dennis Guwor, following an adoption of the report by the ad-hoc committee set up to investigate Omonade.
The Tide’s source recalls that the assembly had on May 14 suspended the lawmaker over alleged gross misconduct.
“The house has, therefore, lifted the suspension following the adoption of the recommendations of the committee.
“He is expected to resume plenary and other legislative duties on the next sitting day”, Guwor said.
Earlier, the Majority Leader, Emeka Nwaobi (PDP-Aniocha North), who chaired the committee, said after a thorough investigation, it recommended that Omonade be sounded a note of warning against future occurrence.
He said the committee also recommended that the recalled lawmaker be made to study the rules of the house.
According to the committee’s recommendations, Omonade should know that laws are universal and can be domesticated in any state or country without anyone being accused of plagiarism.
Nwaobi said since he had remorsefully apologised to the Governor, Speaker and the entire House, the committee recommended that the suspension be lifted.
In their various submissions, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) and Mr Austine Uroye (PDP-Warri South I) supported the committee’s recommendations.
The recommendations, unanimously adopted by members via a voice vote, were seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr. Edafe Emakpor.
The House also approved Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s request to review and implement a new tariff regime for the 8.5 Megawatts Asaba Independent Power Plant (IPP), operated by Messrs Bastanchury Power Solutions.
The governor’s request was contained in a letter read during plenary by the Speaker.
In the letter, Oborevwori explained that the upward review of the electricity tariff from N31.74 per Kilowatt to N75 per Kilowatt became necessary due to the current economic realities.
He said this would enable the company to sustain its services to the state.
Oborevwori, however, noted that the State Government, through the Ministry of Energy, recommended a reviewed amount of N63 per Kilowatt, inclusive of VAT, hence the need for the House’s approval.
The Majority Leader moved a motion for the Assembly to receive the governor’s letter for consideration.
Leading the debate, Nwaobi said it was no longer news that the economic situation informed the governor’s request and, therefore, urged the House to give it speedy approval.
The motion, which was unanimously adopted by the assembly, when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, was seconded by Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi).

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Niger Delta

Sallah: FRSC Deploys 654 Personnel In Delta

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Delta State Command, has deployed 654 personnel, including regular and special marshals, to various locations in the state to ensure safety during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Muftau Irekeola, said this on Friday in Asaba while addressing personnel of the Command in preparation for the Eid-el-Kabir special patrol.
Irekeola said a total of 654 personnel, 19 operational vehicles, one ambulance, one power bike, and others would be deployed in the state.
The Sector Commander, however, said the command was partnering with private tow truck owners, saying that the command’s tow truck was not in good condition.
“If it is more than 30 tons truck, we will call FRSC, Onitsha Command, for towing because Onitsha is less than four kilometers away from Asaba”, he said.
He urged motorists to drive with caution, and pay attention to other road users.
“During rainy season, the grip of their tyres on the road is reduced because of the rain, they need to speed less. In fact, they are supposed to go on a reasonable speed.
“Even the passengers should not board overloaded vehicles, they should talk to the driver and if he is not listening they should drop at the next available bus stop.
“They can alert any FRSC officials or security agency on the road”, he said.

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