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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

 

President Goodluck Jonathan has sent a letter to the House of Representatives to seek for an inclusion of a credit facility of $600 million for the Lagos State government in the 2012-2013 medium term borrowing plan of the Federal Government.

 

In a letter, which was addressed to the speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on Thursday, Jonathan explained that while the World Bank facility was designed to be implemented in three tranches of $200 million each year, “unfortunately, the second tranche of Development Policy Operation II was not captured in the 2012-2014 medium term borrowing plan.”

 

He noted that the inclusion of the second tranche was necessary due to its importance “to the success of and sustainability of the first tranche.”

 

Pointing out that the World Bank supported scheme would help the state some critical infrastructure projects, including an ultra-modern burn centre, cardiac and renal centre, 27 kilometer Lagos-Badagry light rail line and the completion of a 70 million gallons per day Adiyan water facility among others, Jonathan said: “in the light of the above therefore, I wish to seek your understanding and to request you to admit the Lagos State Development Policy Operation II into the 2012-2014 Medium Term Borrowing Plan to enable the state consolidate the gains of the first tranche of the Operation with no implication to the borrowing plan.”

 

The 2012-2014 medium term borrowing plan of the country was earlier transmitted to the National Assembly for approval, but without the Lagos State Development Policy Operation (DPO II). The DPO I of the state was implemented in 2011.

 

Meanwhile, the N315.8 billion 2013 Budget Bill of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), of N315.8 yesterday scaled second reading on the floor of the House.

 

Of the amount, N15.08 billion is for personnel costs, N11.99 million  is for overhead expenditure, and N2.28 billion is for is for capital expenditure while the balance of N286.45 billion is for development projects for the service of the NDDC.

 

Also on the floor of the House, the House Committee on Banking and

Currency was mandated to investigate the alleged discriminatory policy by certain commercial banks on real estate and assets located in selected cities and locations as acceptable collateral, and report back to the House in four weeks.

 

This followed a motion brought by Udo Oluchi Ibeji in which the House expressed worry over the negative impact of the policy will have on trade and businesses and the general economy of the country.

 

Ibeji had specifically named the commercial banks including Skye Bank, Access Bank, FCMB, Mainstreet, Keystone, Ecobank and Sterling Bank as culprits, who, according to him operate a quiet policy of insisting that immovable assets required as collateral for banking facility must be located in Lagos, Port Harcourt or Abuja.

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