Makinde gets assembly’s nod to access N7.6bn loan
Accompanied by sounds of ayes by lawmakers, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin, on Thursday, slammed the gavel in favour of a request by Governor Seyi Makinde to access N7.6 billion loan.
As contained in Makinde’s letter read at Thursday’s plenary, the loan will be accessed from the Central Bank of Nigeria under its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and will be used for agricultural purposes.
Specifically, the N7.6 billion loan is tied to the development of Eruwa and Akufo farm settlements.
The approval was, however, not without request by lawmakers that the fund should be spread across farm settlements in the state rather than the select two settlements.
Mentioning that both Eruwa and Akufo fell within the Ibarapa East/Ido federal constituency alone, state honourable Isiaka Kazeem (Oyo East/West) and Dele Adeola (Iseyin/Itesiwaju) argued that farm settlements across other federal constituencies should have been selected.
Deputy Speaker, Honourable Abiodun Fadeyi and Minority leader, Asimiyu Alarape also toed the same line, noting that each of the nine farm settlements in the state would witness some development if they had some bite of the N7.6 billion loan.
Addressing members’ call, Speaker of the Assembly, Ogundoyin argued the fund will achieve the desired great impact if focused on two settlements compared to spreading the fund across nine settlements where the impact may only besparingly felt .
While stressing that time was of essence in assessing the loan, he added that the select two farm settlements will serve as pilot schemes with the other farm settlements to be subsequently developed.
On the question about the current Makinde government already accumulating debt, Ogundoyin said the earlier N10 billion it approved was strictly for infrastructure while the just approved N7.6 billion was for agriculture.
“The first loan of N10 billion has not even being accessed but we approved the N7.6 billion because this administration is keen on ensuring we do not have any abandoned project.
“Other states have been accessing this agriculture loan facility, especially in the North. But we thank God the state government is ready to work with the federal government and provide counterpart funding to show seriousness in accessing this loan.
“We know that the CBN and federal government are interested in agricultural development and this is a blessing to Oyo state. Moreover, our own goal is to develop the state through agriculture.
“If we decide to spread the money as requested by some lawmakers, we might end up not achieving anything and have abandoned projects.
“So why have abandoned projects when we can have completed projects that are working and running. These two projects can be the engine room for the other projects.
“We are taking the projects one at a time. If we can achieve two projects out of seven then for the remaining five, we do another two next year and thereafter, then we will be able to make progress,” Ogundoyin said.
Thursday’s plenary also saw the Assembly urging the executive arm to adopt proactive and definite measures to revive the moribund Igbeti Marble company.
The Assembly’s prayer followed a motion moved by Ogundoyin and Honourable Kazeem Olayanju (Irepo/Olorunsogo constituency).
The motion pointed to the potentials of Igbeti marble, if fully tapped to generate employment, increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Furthermore, the Assembly tasked the executive arm to subscribe to Public-Private partnership to maximally exploit the potentials of Igbeti marble exploration.