Cross River House of Assembly
For the second time, three separate loan request from the Cross River state governor Ben Ayade totaling N35 billion from three commercial banks in Nigeria has been rejected by the Cross River State House of Assembly over what the house described as insufficient information.
Though the purpose of the loan was said to be for developmental and capital projects it was criticized for not containing details of the purpose and the projects to be undertaken with them.
In explaining the rejection in the house plenary, the Speaker observed that there was a need for the House to be furnished with more details including, the type of projects being considered, their cost, location as well as the total facilities already accepted by the State Government.
The House deliberated on the requests contained in two separate letters from the secretary to the State Government on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, during plenary.
It has, however, commuted the request to the Committee of Finance and Appropriation for in-depth scrutiny.
Gov Ben Ayade
According to the letters, “the State Executive Council at its 3rd meeting of Friday 24th January 2020 resolved to get loan facilities of Ten Billion Naira from Zenith Bank PLC for developmental projects and another Ten Billion Naira from First Bank PLC for the execution of capital projects.”
Both facilities are offered for 48 months at an interest rate of 15 percent per annum.
The legislators, who however commended the governor’s industrialisation drive, mandated the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation to interface with relevant stakeholders including the proposed financial institutions to enable it to make informed decisions.
It could be recalled that the House had earlier rejected and referred the state governor’s request for its approval to withdraw one billion, five hundred million naira from the State’s Reserve Fund.
The government had also asked for a facility of N15 billion from the United Bank for Africa Plc which the House also rejected and committed the request to its Finance and Appropriation Committee for more scrutiny.