Sylva Faults Bayelsa on N120bn Loan Claims
Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva at the weekend faulted the claims of the state government that it inherited N120bn loan from him in 2012.
Sylva, who spoke in Yenagoa through his Media Assistant, Julius Bokoru, said the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson spent eight years obsessing about him instead of focusing on providing the dividends of democracy to many Bayelsans living below poverty line.
Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the state government inherited a loan of N120b from Sylva at inception in 2012 and would complete repayment of the loan in June.
He noted that Dickson should be commended for keeping the debt status of the state low in spite of the various big ticket projects in the critical sectors that were successfully executed in the state.
He recalled that the government recently completed the Bayelsa International Cargo/Passenger Airport at a cost of N65bn aside the multi-billion projects in education, health, agriculture and sectors.
The commissioner said that Sylva and members of the APC, who were making false claims about the debt profile of the state had a responsibility to tell Bayelsans what they did with the N120bn loan burden they foisted on the state.
But Sylva explained that he handed over an economically healthy State to his Dickson, lamenting that his successor plunged the state into indebtedness.
He described Dickson as fortunate for governing Bayelsa at a period the state received the highest allocations.
He argued that despite all the allocations, Dickson foisted N130bn indebtedness on the state.
He said: “As long as we know, the Dickson-led administration took a loan of N50bn. A loan he claimed he has used to build an airport for the State. The ironic thing about that loan is that it is expected to be serviced with a N32bn interest fee making the total sum of the loan N82bn. Where does that happen?
“We still have the case of a 66 million Euros he took from the Bank of Poland in 2013 to build a maritime university in the State. I am not sure there is any maritime university in this State. In fact, the only maritime university we have in the South-South of the country is the one Okerenkoko, Delta State.
“So, these are the obvious scams. Rather than pay attention to their own shortcomings, they have resorted to casting aspersions, focusing on Sylva who was Governor of this State almost eight years ago.
“Just yesterday, the Debt Management Office made a publication indicating that Bayelsa State is the seventh most indebted States in Nigeria. It explained that the State is indebted to the sum of N130 billion. That goes to show how much Dickson has mudgaged Bayelsa with series of loans.
“This government is still feel hunted by the ghost of Sylva. For crying out loud, Sylva was Governor almost eight years ago. By this time, Bayelsans expect that they should be explaining the milestone of their achievements and not to keep talking about Sylva.”
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