Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has said that the N500billion bond programme recently approved by the state’s House of Assembly was a pool fund that would run for a period of five years.
Ambode who clarified issues about the third bond issuance of the state government that is generating controversy while speaking with journalists said it had been technically misrepresented in some sections of the media.
Explaining the modalities of the bond programme, he said the state since 2007, has had two bond issuance programmes, adding that the one recently approved by the state’s Assembly was the third and would run for a period of three to five years.
According to him, the state can only draw N60billion from the pool of N500billion in the current appropriation year, saying that the state would draw from the fund for subsequent years as approved by the House.
He said, “Before you can actually even appropriate it in your budget, you need that programme and that programme was what was approved by the House. But in the appropriation of 2016, what is in the Appropriation law for 2016 is just N60billion.
“So, it’s from this Programme that we are pulling out this N60billion. So, for next year’s budget, if the House approves for instance N80billion as bond, we don’t need to go back to the House again after they have approved that budget, you draw from that issuance programme and take another amount which is approved for 2017 budget.
“If they approve any amount for 2018 budget, you take from that pool of N500billion, which can take the next five to ten years. So it’s just a lump sum which you now draw down based on the authorization by the House. That is the technical explanation. It’s not as if the state wants to go and take another N500billion, it’s just a requirement by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) so that you follow the procedure on a yearly basis.”
The governor also assured that the N60billion Bond Programme approved for the current year would be used to accelerate the aggressive infrastructural development on-going in the state.
He said the funds would be channelled towards the completion of the Ajah Flyover, Abule Egba Flyover, Pen Cinema Flyover, as well as the construction of more lay-bys, bus parks, improve health facilities and the building of more public schools among many other infrastructural projects.