It should be noted that only N91 billion was accessed from the requested N100 billion bridging finance.
By Johnson Atoukudu:
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the former Governor of Delta State, recently informed Chief E.K. Clark, an elder statesman, that he utilized the state’s allocations during his tenure for the purpose of advancing the state’s development.
In response to allegations of misappropriating 13 percent derivation funds, he clarified, through his spokesperson Mr. Olise Ifeajika, that the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) independently formulates its budget separate from the state’s overall budget.
He said: “First let me put it on record that Senator Okowa has immense respect for Chief Edwin Clark, our revered father, elder statesman, respected Deltan and a very loud voice in the country.
“So, whatever he says is important but we are worried that the issues that have been addressed over and over are still being revisited by our father, Chief Clark. Because it is coming from him, otherwise we would have said let it slide but we have to respond to him because of who he is.”
Regarding the accusation of a N150 billion loan being used to fund Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign, he clarified that the funds were not a loan but rather a bridging finance. He further elaborated that the outstanding debt owed to Delta State amounted to N240 billion, which the Federal Government agreed to repay in four quarterly installments over a period of five years.
He mentioned that some states chose to discount their owed amounts and received full payments, subsequently initiating expenditures. However, due to Dr. Okowa’s commitment to the rule of law, due process, and thoroughness, he sought approval from the House of Assembly to utilize a portion of the refunded installments for critical projects.
It should be noted that only N91 billion was accessed from the requested N100 billion bridging finance. Therefore, it would be incorrect to assume that Dr. Okowa acquired a loan of N150 billion.
Addressing the allegation that Dr. Okowa owns a bank, he clarified that Dr. Okowa is widely recognized as a medical doctor turned politician and not a businessperson.
According to him, “Okowa has been acknowledged roundly as having performed superlatively, Okowa braved the odds, broke the jinx and developed the oil producing creeks and communities in the state and the projects are there speaking for themselves.
“It is on record that Okowa empowered no fewer than 30,000 youths and took them off the street to become entrepreneurs and job creators. Delta State Government led the pack in youth empowerment and Delta under Okowa was number one in youth development.”
Instead of criticizing him, he appealed to the elder statesman to acknowledge and appreciate Okowa’s financial prudence, transparency, and effective governance.Instead of criticizing him, he appealed to the elder statesman to acknowledge and appreciate Okowa’s financial prudence, transparency, and effective governance.