The Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio has sent a request to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for their approval for the state government to obtain a loan of $500m (about N80bn) from a bank.
In a letter read by the Clerk of the House, Mandy Umoren on the floor of the House, Akpabio said that the loan would be used to offset another bank loan.
He said, “I, hereby, request for your speedy consideration and approval of the house of my request to borrow $500 million dollars (about N80 billion) from the Standard Chartered Bank International.
“The proceeds of this loan facility will be utilised to offset all outstanding loan commitment of the State Government to UBA Plc.
“This will drastically reduce the applicable interest that government will have paid on the facility from UBA Plc which runs into billions of naira.
The governor added that while the UBA loan was based on an interest rate of 18.5 per cent, that of Standard Chartered Bank is more attractive at an international loan rate of 8.19 per cent.
The Speaker, Samuel Ikon, directed that the letter be referred to the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, for in depth work and report back to the house as soon as possible.
It would be recalled that in May 2012, the House approved the borrowing of N50 billion to execute ongoing infrastructure development in the state.
The governor has been in the news controversially a lot for recent because of his personal and political spending. He has come under criticism for giving a Toyota Prado jeep to popular musician, Tuface Idibia and his wife, Annie, and sponsoring 20 of the bride’s family members to the wedding in Dubai. A few weeks later, he gave N6million to chieftains of his party, Peoples’ Democratic Party, as lunch money at their South-South Zonal Meeting. After that, he then admitted to having rigged the primaries of the party for the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District of the state.
He was recently awarded Governor of the Year by Leadership Newspapers.