Delta laments delay in accessing N150b bridging finance

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has lamented that he is yet to access N150 billion bridging finance from Federal Government.

He said the state had not received the funds because the Federal Government was yet to commence disbursement to the state, contrary to an agreement.

Okowa disclosed this while speaking with newsmen shortly after inspecting ongoing works on Koka flyover and interchange in Asaba.

According to him, the bridge is one of the projects the bridging finance is meant to cover. He said: “The bridging finance is actually a finance that we already have a source of repayment and rather than allow the depreciation of the naira or the extension of time at work to create a cost escalation for us, our intention is to take a bridging finance and then pay back from the money the Federal Government owes us.

“But as of today, we have not even accessed the bridging finance because the repayment plan from the Federal Government, which is supposed to have started by January, has not commenced. They have not made any remittances to the state.

“Some states have taken part of their bridging finance because we are not the only state involved. But for us, we intend to wait until the refund process starts before accessing the bridging finance.”

Okowa said further depreciation of naira could be a major disaster because the bridging finance was meant to be a cost-saving measure for the state.

On the Koka flyover project, he expressed optimism that the project would be completed in December, stressing that the work was on schedule.

“You know that when we came here last, they told me they would finish it in February, next year, but I put a lot of pressure and insisted that we wanted it completed this year.

“The information I have received is that they are still working very hard to ensure they finish the project by the middle of December.

“From what we can see, the super structure of the bridge is already on and a lot of work is being done and by October, it is expected that this would have finished completely,” he said.

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