Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has cleared the air on why his administration asked the State Assembly to convert the already approved N100billion bond into loan. Amaechi explained that the conversion from bond into loan of the said sum is to enable his government complete ongoing projects in the state before the rainy season sets in, noting that with the long and difficult process of obtaining the bond, the state government will fail to complete ongoing projects in the state before the rains set in.
Governor Amaechi made the clarification shortly after signing into law the Rivers State 2013 appropriation bill of N490.3billion and also the state's Internal Revenue Service bill in Government House on Friday.
He thanked the legislators for promptly passing the appropriation bill and noted that the Executive will immediately start implementing the budget.
"I have always told my cabinet that we must go by our budget, nobody should spend outside the budget, there should not be any extra budgetary expenditure because I will not sign. I like to know that every expenditure is backed by the budget. Nobody should undermine the authority of the State Assembly ."
"Having said that, I want to join the conversation in the Assembly and say that nobody should go after my reputation. If you go after my reputation I will come out and fight like a lion. When we asked for you to convert the bond you approved, N100 billion bond which you have approved for long and to convert it into loan because we looked at it that by the time you finish the process of bond and all that and bond currently is at 14 percent, it will affect development and the reality is that we have effectively one dry season, so if I have one dry season and you have already approved by law, you members of the Rivers State House of Assembly approved by law the debt financing of the budget by N100 billion, all I did was to come back to you to say, this N100 billion you have approved convert it from bond to loan.