Global day of prayer with Rev Chris Oyakhilome



The Bayelsa StateGovernment on Thursday approved the restructuring   of the
ongoingrepayment of the N50 billion bond secured by the previous
administration to2019, instead of the 2017 it was scheduled to end. The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite,who madethis disclosure said it was part of the resolutions reached at the
60thExecutive Council meeting presided over by Governor Seriake DicksoninGovernment House, Yenagoa. He said thedecision to restructure the
repayment arrangement would help to reduce thefinancial burden being borne
by the state as a result of the deductions madefrom its monthly allocations

for the bond and overpayments credited to theprevious

administrations. According to Hon.Obuebite, the state government pays about
N1.3billion every month, noting thatthe administration has paid over
N90billion out of the total value ofN104billion. His words, “Council has
approved the restructuring of the 50 billion naira bond for whichthe Bayelsa
State Government has paid up to N92.6bn. It has approved therestructuring of
the bond, which was to terminate by 2017 to 2019 so as toreduce the burden of repayment that the state government has been carrying.” The InformationCommissioner said the State Executive Council also gave approval for payment ofthe variation totaling N1.2bn, which was applied for by Julius Berger, thecontractor handling the Opolo-Elebele Road. Hon. Obuebite,

whoexplained that the variation covers items such as roundabouts and bridges
thatwere not part of the original award of the double-carriage way road
project,maintained that Council also approved payment of debts owed the
contractor ofthe Toru-Ebeni Bridge Access Road, which has since been
completed. The InformationCommissioner also noted that Council expressed
displeasure over the theft of a50 KVA electricity generating plant and the
vandalization of other equipment atthe Sports Academy, Asoama, in
Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area and otherproject sites across the State and called on community leaders to protectprojects sited in their

areas, as they are meant to bring development to thepeople. Commenting on

theflood alert for this year, he said Council decided to set up a committee
headedby the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, with a mandate to
open upstrategic drains in the Yenagoa metropolis as well as liaise with
other relevantagencies, particularly the Ministry of Information and
Orientation to enlightenthe public on proactive measures against
flooding. Also briefing thepress, the Commissioner for Agriculture and
Natural Resources, Mr. Doode Weeknoted that, the Government has approved the
establishment of a mega aquaculturefarm on its 172-hectare land already
acquired at Igbogene. According to Mr.Week, the 500 earthen pond fishing
community, which will comprise a hatchery,feed mill and a processing
facility of international standard, is gearedtowards empowering Bayelsans,

particularly the youths and women of the state.  He also spoke on the

government’s renewedefforts at harnessing the  comparativeadvantage of the
state in rice and oil palm production, with the establishmentof processing

plants by leveraging on low interest funds from the Central Bankof Nigeria. According to him,“For the fact that we have comparative advantage

on rice production, Councilapproved that the Isampou 4,000 Rice Field will
be inspected and immediateaction will be taken on it. And, before the rice
value chain will be developedseriously, there is the need for the state to
have an ambitious processingplant. “Plans are inplace for the government to
acquire and own 50 tons per day rice processingplant that will meet the
processing needs of Bayelsa and its environs. It isexpected that the

end-product will be exportable because it will be ofinternational standard.

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