The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has justified the approval of loans granted Governor Douye Diri stating that they were legitimate and tied to specific items on project interventions and development of the state.
The assembly had earlier come under criticism over their swift approval of loan requests from the governor, which have so far amounted to N21b in the last 10 months.
Speaking after the last plenary for 2020, the House led by its Speaker, Abraham Ingobere, through its Chairman, Committee on Information, Tari Pori (Ekeremor 1) dismissed the claims of unnecessary loan approvals to Governor Diri as unfounded, insisting that all loan requests endorsed for the administration were legitimate and tied to specific items.
Pori, who stated this, while presenting an account of stewardship of the House leadership, said the recent approvals were specifically for counterpart funding and intervention projects with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), SDGs and MDGs.
“The approvals are tied to specific items and to allow the state government to access the counterpart funding and by the time the funds are released, the state would be better off. There is no money in the state government’s account.
“The loan approvals are meant for counterpart funding for intervention and development projects. We cannot access such funds without the state making its own contribution. We assure Bayelsa people that once the funds are accessed we will monitor and do our oversight functions to ensure it is used for the purpose.
“We have also approved N3.5b as counterpart funding for SUBEB. If all the funds are used for the purposes they are meant, it will benefit the state and its citizens,” he stated.
He pointed out that speedy approval of loans for the executive arm of government was why some people refer to the Bayelsa Assembly as rubber stamp, adding: “There is nothing like rubber stamp anywhere. The truth is that if people don’t have the details, it will be difficult to appreciate what the lawmakers are doing.”
“The question should be that whether the projects are actually being cited in the communities? The truth is that the Assembly will support anything that will benefit the Bayelsa people.”