From Osakhare Erese, Asaba
The Delta State House of Assembly has Okayed a request from the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for the issuance of N4.5 billion performance bond by Fidelity Bank for the Warri-Effurun Water Scheme concession on behalf of the state government.
The Speaker, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori read the request from the governor contained in a letter to the House at yesterday’s plenary for the concession agreement.
According to the letter, Governor Okowa said that the state government had secured the offer and approval of Fidelity Bank for the issuance of the required bank performance bond of the sum of N4.4 billion with some terms and conditions.
He said that the state government under the new funding arrangement, particularly in the face of paucity of funds was persuaded of the benefits commitment to compete the project.
The governor noted that the letter was to seek the support and ratification of the issuance of the required performance guarantee bond by Fidelity Bank, in accordance with the Warri-Effurun Water Scheme concession agreement.
In his debate, the Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere said that the request of the governor was just to complete the inherited project for a smooth concession of the Warri-Effurun water scheme.
He said that the concession of the project would take the risk off the shoulder of government as it would also make water available and running in houses in Warri, Effurun and its environs, adding that the project had reached the finishing line.
Others who spoke in support of the governor’s request included Honourables Pat Ajudua, Samuel Mariere and Tonye Timi, said that water was very essential to human activities, stressing that Governor Okowa had shown commitment by partnering with Fidelity Bank in the concession of the water scheme.
They said that the House had set up a committee to look into the viability of the project, stressing that the Warri-Effurun scheme was viable as its benefit was enormous.
The lawmakers noted that the project would be funded by Fidelity Bank as government would no longer expend funds on the water scheme as the Debt Management Office has approved the arrangement.
The governor’s request was unanimously adopted when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
Also at plenary, the House took the presentation and first reading of the Delta state remuneration, salaries, allowances, gratuities and pensions of certain public office holders and bodies amendment bill.
The Member representing Ndokwa West Constituency, Hon. Azuka Azaka moved a separate motion for the presentation and first reading of the bill and was seconded by Hon. Oboro Preyor and Pat Ajudua.
But opposition party in the state, All Progressive Congress (APC) described the approval by the assembly as charade and alleged fraud, adding that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was never ready to develop the state, rather, allegedly diverting funds into “personal pockets”.
A chieftain of the party Chief Edwin Akafah who spoke to journalists in Asaba yesterday, however called on the governor to be accountable to the people, alleging that his led administration cannot showcase any meaningful development in the past two years.