By Miracle Enuji
The Delta State House of Assembly on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 authorized the loan request of One Billion Naira for the State Government to enable it access the Universal Basic Education Fund.
The One Billion Naira is the 50% counter-part contribution of Delta State Government required to access the Two Billion Naira Fund provided by the Federal Government for the development of Basic Education in the country.
Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori presented the loan request by the State Government in a letter addressed to the House titled “Ratification of His Excellency, the Governor’s Approval for One Billion Naira Term Loan Facility by Fidelity Bank Plc to enable the State Government Fund the 50% Counter-Part Contribution required to access the Universal Basic Education Fund.”
The Governor’s letter read in part, “I wish to inform the Speaker and Honourable Members, that to enable the State access the Universal Basic Education Fund, it is expected to make its counter-part contribution of One Billion Naira.
Constrained by our current state of our finances, I granted approval for One Billion Naira loan facility from Fidelity Bank plc. The loan is planned to be exclusively applied to the payment of the 50% counter-part funding by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to enable it access the Federal Government component funds for the execution of projects in the education sector in the state.”
Leader of the House, Hon. Tim Owhofere while leading the debate on the loan request, rallied support for its approval stating that the counterpart funding is in pursuance of the development of the Basic Education in the State.
Owhofere said, “The evidence of this loan basically, is to enable us access what the Federal Government is disbursing to every State that keyed into this programme. If we do not pay our 50% counter-part funding, we cannot access it and we will loose the One billion that is coming from the Federal Government.”
“If you go round the state, you will see Primary Schools being renovated, rebuilt by the SUBEB, it is with this fund provided by the Federal Government. However, they cannot fund it alone, any state that wants to access funds for its Primary Education, must make part of the payments,” the Leader added.
The support speeches by Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya, member representing Oshmili South State Constituency and Hon. Barr. Samuel Mariere, member representing Ughelli North 1 State Constituency was unanimously adopted by other House Members.
The loan request was swiftly ratified as Mr. Speaker’s Gavel supported the ‘ayes’ response by the lawmakers.