Assembly approves Gov. Belloe’s request for N896.5m loan

The Niger State House of Assembly on Wednesday granted Governor Abubakar Bello approval to access two separate loans of N280.5 million and N616 million for the procurement of mass transit vehicles and buses.

The House passed the resolution in support of the facilities following a correspondence from the governor.

According to the two separate letters, read on the floor of the House by the Speaker, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa, while the N280.5 million loan is to be accessed from Zenith Bank Plc, the N616 million loan would come from First City Monument Bank.

Bello wrote: “I write to intimate you of the ongoing negotiation by Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) for a term loan of N616 million to be utilised towards procurement of mass transit buses.

“The total cost of the buses is N770 million and FCMB will provide a facility to the tune of N616 million while the state government will provide the balance of N154 million as its 20 per cent equity contribution.

“The N616 million loan is offered at an interest rate of 22 per cent per annum over a 36 month repayment period.

“It is secured by the domiciliation of all NSTA collections, and registration of the vehicles in the joint names of NSTA and FCMB Plc.”

The letter in respect of the N280.5 million facility was, however, silent on the interest rate and the repayment period of the loan.

The House, thereafter, unanimously resolved to give the governor the go ahead to access the loans.

In a related development, the House passed a bill seeking to peg the retirement age of academic and non academic staff of tertiary institutions in the state at 65 years.