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We'll Soon Complete Payment Of Sylva's N50 Billion Loan --- Bayelsa Govt..

By Jbasoene

The Bayelsa State Government has said that it will complete the repayment of the N50 billion naira loan obtained by the last administration of Chief Timipre Sylva before the third quarter of this year.

The State Commissioner for Finance, Maxwell Ebibai disclosed this in Yenagoa shortly after the 105 State Executive Council meeting.

Ebibai said the Restoration Government has been committed in the repayment of the loan in order to take off the huge burden it has placed on the state.

The Finance Commissioner also said that the council reviewed the funding options before it of some of its key projects and the challenges of completing such projects.

He explained that to achieve its target, the government has expanded the Contractor Infrastructure finance Development Scheme which will give contractors access to funds directly from banks based on milestones.

He further explained that with the scheme, contractors can approach banks to secure loan and execute their projects while the state government will act as a guarantor and ensure that the loans are repaid based on the job done.

"It is a sort of a Public Private Partnership. It involves the government, the contractors and the banks. We are not borrowing but the contractors. We will only gurantee payment based on job done. By this we are sure to complete some of our key projects.

Ebibai stated that the Restoration Government is determined to start the sandfilling of the Nembe/Brass road with an eye for the completion of the Sagbama/Ekeremor road, Yenegoa/Oporoma road and other projects.

On his part the Secretary to the State Government, Kemela Okara said a committee was set up to work out modalities to access the N3 billion agricultural fund with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Okara noted that the funds are targeted at enterprise development for small and medium scale entrepreneurs and those seeking to be self employed.

According to him, the funds will assist Bayelsans, especially women and youths to grow their businesses and prosper and forget the habit of chasing limited white collar jobs.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prince Doodei Week stressed that the enterprise development loans comes with little interest rates and will encourage farmers to expand their trade and become more sufficient.

While speaking on the launch of 'Rise Bayelsa', the Commissioner for Environment, Ebipatei Apaingolo pointed out that it is a new brand of campaign to send a strong message to the world that the state is ready to stand up against environmental degradation and all forms of injustice.

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson reiterated that the Governor Seriake Dickson's administration is still on course to finish well and strong and called on the people to continue to show understanding and solidarity.