Rivers State House of Assembly, yesterday, gave approval to Governor Nyesom Wike to secure a N10 billion loan from Zenith Bank.
Speaker of the House, Ikuinyi Ibani, during the sitting of the House, read out the letter from the governor requesting approval of the House to secure the loan, saying it was meant for rehabilitation of roads and some other projects within the governor’s first 100 days in office.
Leader of the House, Mr Martins Amewhule and others who spoke before the issue was voted on, lauded the governor for attaching details of the proposed projects to his letter.
On his part, member representing Ogu/Bolo constituency, Evans Bipi, while lending support to the governor to go ahead, said the proposed N10 billion loan was an indication that the governor would be very diligent with public funds, saying: “The money is small but it shows that our governor will be diligent with public funds.”
All the 28 lawmakers present gave their support to the governor to go ahead.
The House also constituted an ad-hoc committee, headed by Michael Chinda, to hear from the state’s Ministries of Health, Information and other agencies on their efforts to stop further deaths from consumption of the poisonous local gin otherwise called kai kai or ogogoro
The Speaker, Ibani, reminded members that the sale of local gin had been banned all over the country by the Federal Government, noting that the ad-hoc committee was to hear from the various government agencies, steps they had taken to ensure that people were aware of the danger in consuming local gin.
Earlier, member representing Degema constituency, Farah Dagogo and Ogbona Jones representing Port Harcourt constituency 1, were among those that spoke against the outright ban on sale of local gin in the state.
According to them, government should find out what was responsible for the death of those that consumed the gin and see how best to resolve the problem.
“Today we are talking of poisonous gin, tomorrow it may be garri or beer. I think we should not encourage outright ban because not all the local gin sold in the market can be said to be poisonous. Efforts should be made to trace the killer gin to address the problem,” one of the lawmakers said.