Posted on August 10, 2015
The approval granted by the Abia State
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.
“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
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
The eight APGA lawmakers who were present at the press conference, were visibly angry, with the member representing
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
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.