It's on us. Share your news here.

APGA Lawmakers Withdraw Support for Abia’s N30bn Loan Deal

Posted on August 10, 2015

The approval granted by the Abia State House of Assembly for the state government to proceed with its plans to secure N30 billion bank loan may be heading into stormy weather as members of the opposition All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have backed out of the resolution.

The state legislature had last week passed a “unanimous resolution” authorising the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to go ahead with the loan deal following a letter he sent to the House requesting their approval.

But in a volte-face APGA members who constitute 11 of the 24-member legislature addressed a press conference yesterday withdrawing their earlier approval for the loan, saying that they were “tricked” into giving their approval for the loan. They threatened a showdown with the House leadership over the alleged deception.

Minority leader of the House, Hon Abraham Oba, who spoke on behalf of his fellow APGA lawmakers at the party secretariat in Umuahia, alleged that the House Speaker, Hon. Martins Azubuike deliberately hid the details of the loan from them hence they readily gave their approval.

“We have been deceived by the Speaker. He lied to us. And we are no longer part of the approval,” he said, adding that the Speaker had told the lawmakers that the proposed loan would be used for the execution of infrastructural projects, including dredging of Aba River.

Hon Oba said just 48 hours after the resolution authorising the loan was passed they shocked to learn that the loan was not actually “a fresh borrowing “but a loan facility which the state government intended to use in clearing accumulated debts hanging on its neck.

According to him, the new information on the proposed loan at the disposal of the lawmakers came about in media reports of a press briefing by the governor’s Special Adviser on Economic Affairs, Mr. Obinna Oriaku, who apparently had contradicted what the Speaker had told his fellow lawmakers.

The eight APGA lawmakers who were present at the press conference, were visibly angry, with the member representing Ikwuano constituency, Hon. Theophilus Ugbaja, saying that “they sold a dummy to us that the state was only owing N6 billion, and that the loan would be used to wipe off the debt and finance major projects in the state.”

The opposition lawmakers demanded that Governor Ikpeazu should appear on the floor of the House and address members on the desirability or otherwise of the loan, and to clarify issues on the actual debt status of the state.

They also warned banks against going ahead with the loan deal “as it would amount to waste of funds.”

“Any bank negotiating to lend the money is doing so at its risk until the governor comes up with the truth about the loan including mode of re-payment,” the Minority Leader said.

But the House Speaker faulted the U-turn of APGA lawmakers, insisting that the resolution authorising the loan deal was passed unanimously and “there was no breach of any parliamentary process.”

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Clinton Uba, the House Speaker was quoted as saying that there purpose of seeking the loan has not changed from what Ikpeazu itemised in his letter of request to the legislature.

According to him, lawmakers “painstakingly deliberated on the items requiring urgent attention, ranging from the dredging of Aba River, construction of bridges across the three senatorial zones of the state, construction and rehabilitation of roads in Abia State, building of modern hospitals across the three senatorial zones.”

Other infrastructural projects he listed include construction of comprehensive drainage system across the state, building of industrial clusters as well as other necessary developmental foundations.

It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe