The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has given the State government approval to take three loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria for various purposes.
This followed request letters to that effect, written to the House by the governor, Dave Umahi, and read during Thursday’s plenary.
The loans include a N4.4 billion salary bailout from the CBN, N2bn for micro and medium scale enterprises development fund and N2bn for rice production.
The letters were read by the Leader of the house, Joseph Nwaobasi, and accepted as a working document after which the house dissolved into committee of the whole house to deliberate on the requests.
The Minority Leader of the house, Maria Nwachi, (PPA), representing Afikpo North West, in her contribution urged the state government to ensure that the loans are utilized for the purposes they are given, to aid the poor farmers and not end up in private pockets of a few individuals.
She said, “My mind skips when I hear about this loans for agriculture, my mind skips. The reason is that most times the money will end up in private pockets and the people that need this money will not access it”.
“The people will still be poor and the people who have access to it will plunder it. I am hoping that this present government will deviate from the norm by making sure the real farmers benefit from the loan”.
The House Committee Chairman on Agriculture, Augusta Ude, promised that the committee will monitor the funds when procured to ensure they are not diverted.
The speaker of the house, Ogbonnaya Nwifuru, put the requests of the governor to vote after the members spoke in favour and it it was unanimously affirmed.
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