Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday gave approval for the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi to obtain the sum of US $280 million to enable him provide water for residents of Port Harcourt, the state capital.
In a letter dated June 23, 2014 and addressed to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree, the governor requested for the assembly’s resolution to enable him obtain the loan which are two-pronged.
The first loan facility which is 80 million US Dollars will be obtained from World Bank under IDA terms while the second loan totaling 200 million US Dollars is a loan facility from African Development Bank.
The purpose of the loans, Amaechi explained “is to provide sustainable and safe access to clean and hygienic drinking water and sanitation in the city of Port Harcourt.
“The project outcome will enhance the quality of life to Port Harcourt inhabitants,” he stated.
The governor also stated that the “loan which is being taken by the Federal Ministry of Finance for un-lending to Rivers State is to enable the state government commence the project at the earliest possible time.”
After debating on it, 15 legislators out of 19 of them present voted that the loan be approved first while the Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Patricia Simeon be invited to the next sitting of the house to explain the nitty-gritty of the loan to the house.
But four lawmakers voted that the Simeon be invited first to make explanations before the approval would be given for the loan.
However, at the end, the Speaker, Dan-Amachree directed the Clerk of the House to convey the assembly’s approval to the governor.
The clerk was also directed to invite the commissioner for water resources to appear before the lawmakers during their next sitting to make explanations on the loan.
On the petition from the newly employed staff of the State Health Management Services who are yet to receive their employment letters since after being employed in November 2013, the speaker committed the matter to the House Committee on Health and report back to the house.