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Niger gov seeks assembly’s approval for another N280.5m loan

Less than a month after the Niger State House of Assembly granted the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello’s approval to obtain N2.4 billion to augment the payment of workers’ salaries, he is seeking approval for another N280.5 million loan.

This time, the governor said that the  loan, to be obtained from First Bank of Nigeria Plc, is for the resuscitation of the state-owned transport authority for better service delivery.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Marafa, read a letter from the governor on the floor of the house during plenary  requesting for the Assembly resolution to access N280.5 million short-term facility.

The letter signed by Bello reads in parts “I write to intimate you of the on-going negotiation by the Niger State Transport Authority  (NSTA) for a loan of N280,500,000.00 to be utilised towards procurement of Toyota Hiace buses for their operations as well as insurance of same from the same bank (First Bank of Nigeria Plc).”

Only last month, he requested for the approval to obtain N2.5 billion loan from commercial banks to enable the government meet up with the payment of the October salary of the state civil servants.

According to the current letter to the Assembly, the latest loan is “offered at an interest rate of 18 percent per annum over a 36-month repayment period. It is secured by the domiciliation of all NSTA collections , and registration of the vehicles in the (joint) names of NSTA and FBN Plc.”

The letter appealed to the lawmakersto cooperate with the executives towards building a bigger and better Niger.

Some of the loans the state has obtained this year so far include’ N4.6 billion bail out fund from the federal government for salary arrears; N1.8 billion loan for the payment of arrears of salary of local government staff;  N10 billon bail out loan to enable the government execute what it called “demanding projects” in the state.