The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has approved the request of the state Governor, Senator Douye Diri to renegotiate and restructure existing state government loan facilities with commercial banks.
The request according to the governor is to free up funds for critical development projects in the state.
In a letter addressed to the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Abraham Ingobere, Governor Diri, explained that it had become increasingly difficult for the state government to fulfil its debt obligations due to increasing demands on limited resources and the huge burden of inherited debts from previous administrations.
The governor further explained that the approval of the House was necessary to enable his administration to renegotiate the tenor and rate of existing commercial bank loan facilities for a more favorable monthly repayment plan.
He stated that it would also enable his government to consolidate and restructure principles and interest of outstanding loan facilities with Commercial banks and issue revised Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to reflect the restructured amount and tenor.
The lawmakers also approved the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper as requested by the governor.
The MTEF paper fulfilled the requirements of section 14 of the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2009 as amended.
The two approvals were the highlights of Monday’s sitting of the assembly after it resumed from an eight weeks recess which started on July 28, 2021.
Welcoming the lawmakers back from the recess, the Speaker noted that having spent time with their constituents and engaged in research and consultations, they would have been well equipped for the new legislative year.
He, therefore, urged them to brace-up for the business of the new legislative year and also enjoined them to take their job of oversight very seriously for the sake of those they represent.
At a post sitting briefing, the Spokesman of the House, Hon. Tare Porri, said the eight weeks break gave them the opportunity to hold town hall meetings and interact with their constituents.
Hon. Porri assured that as a responsive assembly they will continue to make laws that will positively impact on the lives of the people. He thanked Bayelsans for their support.