Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has approached the State House of Assembly for approval to enable him secure a N80 billion loan from a bank.
Akpabio, in a letter to the State House of Assembly, explained that a part of the loan would be used to offset a loan collected from the United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA), last year.
It would be recalled that the State Government had, last year, borrowed the sum of N50 billion to execute various ongoing infrastructural development in the state after due approval was granted by the State House of Assembly last May.
In a letter from the Governor, read on the floor of the House by the Clerk, Mrs. Mandu Umoren, Akpabio appealed to the state legislators to consider and give speedy approval to the letter.
The Governor disclosed that giving immediate approval to the state government to obtain the loan would save the state from paying huge interest on the loan already collected from UBA.
According to him, the loan collected from UBA Plc last year attracted an interest of 18. 5 per cent while Standard Chartered Bank international loan rate is 8. 19 per cent.
“I hereby request for your speedy consideration and approval of the state House of my request to borrow the sum of $500 million dollars (about N80 billion) from Standard Chartered Bank International.
“The proceeds of this loan facility will be utilized to offset all outstanding loan
commitment of the State Government to UBA Plc.
“This will drastically reduce the applicable interest that government would have paid on the facility from UBA Plc which runs into billions of naira”, the Governor stressed.
Receiving the letter, the Speaker, Mr Samuel Ikon referred it to the House committee on Appropriation and Finance for in depth work and to report back to the house as soon as possible.