By Olufemi Ojo
Ondo State House of Assembly on Thursday approved three years extension for the repayment of the state government N27 billion bond inherited from the previous administration.
The House’s resolution followed a letter by Gov. Olurotimi Akeredolu, seeking the lawmakers’ approval to restructure the payment period of the bond.
Akeredolu said in the letter that restructuring of the payment period of the bond would enable the state government to attend to other financial expenses.
The House, at the plenary presided over by its Speaker, Mr Bamidele Oleyelogun, unanimously approved additional tenure of three years for repayment of the bond.
The House also agreed that restructuring of the bond would reduce the state monthly debt services and inject more funds to the recurrent expenditure.
The House Majority Leader, Mr Olusegun Araoyinbo, while debating on the governor’s request, said that the letter should be given express approval.
Araoyinbo said that this would enable the state government to make more fund available to cater for relevant items in the recurrent expenditure.
He explained that about N775.88 million was scheduled to be deducted monthly from the allocation accruing to the state within the period of 2012 and 2019.
According to him, this has actually reduced the financial strength of the state.
The majority leader said that if the House could approve the bond restructuring, “the state will be saving about N400 million at the end of every month’’.
According to him, if the loan repayment period is rescheduled to between 2019 and 2022, the monthly repayment will come down to N311.11 million.
Also at the plenary, a bill for an amendment of the 2017 Appropriation Bill sent by the governor scaled through the second reading.
The speaker, however, referred the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for proper scrutiny. (NAN)