The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the state government’s request for a N15 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Infrastructure Fund on Wednesday, allowing the state to complete three vital projects.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Isaac Kamalu, revealed this at a press conference following the Executive Council meeting in Port Harcourt.
Kamalu added that the three key projects are the Oyigbo-Okoloma Road; Chokocho-Igbodo Road and the construction of the 10th flyover by the administration at Rumuokwurushi-Elimgbu.
Considering the benefits of the facility, Kamalu said that tapping the fund will help speed up the completion of these projects, with a low-interest rate of 5% repayable within 20 years and a three-year moratorium.
“In our deliberations at the Executive Council meeting today, Council approved that the Rivers state government should access the Central Bank of Nigeria Infrastructure Support Facility to the tune of N15 billion. You will recall that prior to now, the Rivers state government had accessed funds for these projects.
“However, these funds, even if put together, will not be able to accomplish these three critical projects mentioned,” he said.
Kamalu expressed confidence that the N15 billion facility would be a valuable asset in ensuring that these projects were completed on schedule and in the state’s best interests.
The council has decided to reclaim decaying government quarters from civil servants and illegal inhabitants in Port Harcourt’s old and new Government Residential Areas (GRA) and resell them to qualified private individuals.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, went on to say that the Council made this decision because some of the properties were fraudulently obtained by retired civil workers through dubious allocation and sale processes.
According to Nsirim, some of the properties had deteriorated due to the residents’ blatant disregard and lack of upkeep.
“The properties were totally in uninhabitable condition and were converted into commercial and business uses; in some cases, they were sublet to private tenants, or were used as poultries, fish ponds, barbing saloons, and other unauthorized uses,” he said