Despite vehement opposition from the APC lawmakers in the Benue state House of Assembly, the House yesterday, 20TH May, 2014 approved Eleven Billion Naira bond facility for Benue State Government.
Governor Gabriel Suswam in a correspondence to the House dated 7th March, 2014 through the office of the Secretary to the State Government and read on the floor of the House by Speaker, Barr Terhile Ayua requested the Assembly to Approve a fixed rate bond by way of public offering amounting to Eleven Billion Naira to the Benue State Government.
But the APC lawmakers said the governor’s request is unjustifiable, unthinkable because Mr Suswam has failed to report to the House on the progress of the earlier Thirteen Billion Naira Bond approved for his administration in 2012 by the same Assembly.
Minority leader of the House, Hon Benjamin Tilley Adanyi particularly noted that it is against legislative practice to approve a facility to cure recurrent issues noting that the 2012 bond was approved on the premise that it was tagged to capital projects.
PDD lawmakers saw nothing wrong with Mr. Suswam’s request. Majority Leader, Hon Paul Biam who moved for the request to be granted agreed that the state has faced serious financial challenges in recent times following dwindling revenue from the Federation account.
Voting for the bond and against the bond was done according to party lines. 17 PDP lawmakers who were present at the Tuesday, 20th May, 2014 sitting voted for the request while the 6 APC lawmakers at the sitting voted against the bond.
However, Speaker Ayua ruled with the majority and House resolved that Benue state government should secure a fixed rate bond by way of public offering amounting to Eleven Billion Naira.
It would be recalled that the House had approved a little over Six Billion Naira deficit funding for the 2014 Fiscal Year.