Members of Enugu State House of Assembly at yesterday’s plenary, turned down the request by out-going Governor Sullivan Chime to obtain a loan of N11 billion from a commercial bank.
Recall that the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, last week, kicked against the loan request, noting that it would amount to milking the state dry before his exit.
The disapproval of the loan request was unanimous after a heated debate.
The rejection followed a message from the governor, conveyed to the House by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Anthony Ani (SAN).
In the message, the governor made a request for a resolution of the House “to authorise Enugu State government to issue Irrevocable Standing Payment Order, ISPO, to United Bank for Africa Plc in the sum not exceeding N11 billion to cover monies paid by the State Government to its contractors executing projects in the State.”
Only two of the lawmakers, Joseph Agbo Ugwumba (Enugu East Rural) and Johnbull Nwagu (Udi North) of the 17 members who attended the sitting, yesterday, supported the request by the governor.
Attempt by the Speaker, Mr. Eugene Odo, to adopt a voice vote approach in arriving at the conclusion, was unsuccessful, hence he subjected the matter to individual voting, calling their names one after the other.
At the end of the voting, the speaker announced that of the 17 members who attended the sitting, 13 voted against the request by the governor, while only 2 voted in support. Two members abstained from voting.
Contributing to the debate, Mr. Mathew Ugwueze, representing Igbo-Eze South, said: “If you borrow money to pay a debt, then you are still indebted,” and wondered why the governor should be in a hurry to pay contractors when government is a continuum.