Rivers Assembly okays Wike's N10bn bailout request

The Rivers State House of Assembly has approved a request from the State Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike, to obtain N10 billion bailout funds from the Federal Government.

The governor, through a letter captioned: "Notification of Intention to Apply for Bailout Funds from the Federal Government,"Ě explained that the money will be used to pay salaries for civil servants and pensioners in
the state.

According to the letter, it has become difficult for the state government to meet its salaries obligations to civil servants and pensioners due to decline in federal government allocation.

The letter read in part: "The purpose of this letter is to formally notify the state House of As≠sembly of our intention to apply for bailout funds from the federal government to meet our salaries and pensions obligations.

"Recall that last year, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, on the initiative of the National Economic Council, approved bailout funds to enable states defray backlog of salaries to civil servants and pensioners. Although most of the states immediately applied and got the funds, Rivers State tried to go without recourse to this facility.

"However, with the continuously decline in allocation to the state from the federation account fund fixed at N3.5 billion only, it is now getting increasingly difficult for us to meet our salaries obligations to civil servants and pensioners.

It has therefore become necessary and urgent for the Rivers State government to also take advantage of federal government bailout funds to enable us meet our salaries obligations to civil servants and pensioners.

"Consequently, it is our intention to apply to the Central Bank of Nigeria, for the sum of N10 billion only, from the federal government bailout funds on the same terms and conditions that were accorded to other states."Ě

Reacting on the letter, the Speaker, Rt Hon Adams Dabotoru Dima, stated that the fall of crude oil prices in the international market has affected the federal government's income, and by extension, that of the state. He, therefore, calleded on lawmakers to contribute constructively by approving the request.

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