Bayelsa denies taking new N40bn loan

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Former Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson was elected senator in the bye-elections
Former Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson was elected senator in the bye-election
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa says no new loan has been taken

The Bayelsa Government has denied media reports that it was taking a fresh N40 billion loan on Monday.

Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the state Commissioner for Information, denied the reports in a statement on Monday in Yenegoa.

Iworiso-Markson said that the state government only approached the State House of Assembly for the restructuring of repayment of the N40 billion earlier borrowed.

He said that the request made to the state House of Assembly was for approval to restructure existing N40 billion loan so as to complete ongoing projects was not a fresh loan.

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“The request was contained in a letter dated October 30 and addressed to the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson.

“The letter sought among others, permission to restructure existing bank loans to enable the state channel more funds to projects.”

Iworiso-Markson stressed that there was no truth in the reports

According to Iworiso-Markson, the restructuring of the loan would enhance speedy completion of ongoing projects across the three Senatorial zones in the state like the Sagbama-Ekeremor road, Isaac Boro road and Bayelsa International Airport, amongst others.

“The N40 billion is not a fresh loan as being speculated, rather it is aimed at restructuring already existing loan from two to four years period.

“You know we took a loan for the airport sometime ago. So, what we are doing is that instead of paying the required over N2 billion every month, we have restructured it and the time to pay the loan has been elongated.

“Rather than two years, we will now pay it in four years and it will be about N1 billion naira every month.

“The other one will be given to our contractors. We don’t want to handle it ourselves because if we do, we will still spend it on other things.

“ So, we have given it to a particular bank to distribute to our contractors. So, clearly it is not a fresh loan” he said.

The denial is coming on the heels of public outcry from labour leaders who have interpreted the restructuring of the loan to mean that government was taking new loans in addition to existing ones.