Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Tuesday forwarded a Bill for a law to provide for the Regulation and Management of the State’s borrowing and debt portfolio and the establishment of Debt Management Department to the State House of Assembly for scrutiny and approval.

The bill which was contained in a letter personally signed by the Governor, was read at Tuesday’s Plenary by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sherriff Oborevwori.

In the letter, the governor said, ” I wish to refer to the above mentioned subject and inform the House of the need to enact a Debt Management Department Law, distinct from the Fiscal Responsibility Law as amended to regulate and manage the state’s borrowing and debt portfolio.

”The House would recall that the 2020 amendment of the fiscal responsibility law , 2008 created the Debt Management Department in the Ministry of Finance.

” The department manages the state’s debt portfolio and all debt related matters.

”It needs to be mentioned that the 2020 amendment stemmed from the implementation of World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.

”The Annual Performance Assessment (APA) of SFTAS conducted in 2019 revealed that Delta was unable to meet the World Bank Disbursement Linked Indicator 7.

”This linked indicator requires the state’s public debt management and regulatory framework to identify the entity responsible for borrowing or contracting debt on behalf of the state government.

” In bore of the foregoing, therefore I wish to forward for the consideration and passage into law by the House, the above mentioned Bill, to enable the state meet the World Bank standard,” he said.

Also at Tuesday’s plenary, the House also, received a letter by the State Governor for a bill to establish the state Erosion and Watershed Management Agency

In the letter which was also read at Plenary by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Governor Okowa is seeking the lawmakers consent for scrutiny and approval of the bill

According to the Governor, the essence of the bill was to enable the state create an agency that would help to pursue the objects of the strategic planning and coordination on national policies in the field of Erosion Watershed Management.

He said that the establishment of the agency was necessary in order to fully harness government’s efforts geared towards climate change control, preservation and eco-system, management of erosion and watershed among others in the state.

Consequently, the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon Ferguson Onwo moved a motion for the Assembly to receive the letters from the Governor.

The motion which was unanimously adopted by the assembly when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, was seconded by the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Ochor Christopher Ochor.