Kwara State government has put its infrastructure deficit at N200 billion.
Bent on bridging the gap, the government is preparing to obtain N20 billion bond for projects.
The House of Assembly has given the government the go-ahead to access another bond from the capital market.
It said it had paid off the N17 billion bond obtained in 2009 for infrastructural development.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said the bond was paid on August 5 last year, following payment to subscribers throughout the bond’s five-year tenure.
The government said repayment of the N17 billion bond, which was obtained by the Bukola Saraki administration, did not impose any burden on the state’s finances, as the bond maintained an issue rating of A and issuer rating of BBB – which signified the superior credit profile of the government.
Akorede listed the N17 billion bond projects as Kwara State University, Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, International Aviation College, remodelling of Ilorin Stadium Complex, phase one of Ilorin Water Reticulation Project, Ilorin Cargo Terminal, as well as urban and rural road and electrification projects.
Stressing that long term borrowing, such as bond was cheaper and a more reliable means of funding major capital projects, the government said the proposed N20 billion would finance innovative projects, such as the dualisation of Michael Imoudu to Gamo Road, part completion of Kishi Kaiama Road, indoor sports hall of the Ilorin Stadium and the new campuses of Kwara State University at Osi and Ilesha.
Other proposed projects are secondary school classrooms across the state, equipment for the International Vocational Centre, Ajase Ipo, remodelling of the General Hospital, Oro, as well as cottage hospitals, the state’s counterpart funding for an industrial park, which will generate 3,000 jobs, provision of transformers and take-off of contributory pension scheme, which is a precondition for accessing other infrastructure funds.
Dr. Akorede noted that the proposed bond was a necessity, given the challenges in the national economy and a huge drop in monthly allocation, which had limited government’s ability to fund infrastructure.
The media aide assured the public that the Ahmed administration had taken steps not only to ensure that the government could afford the bond repayments without any pressure on its finances, but also that it had reformed its revenue machinery to boost government’s capacity to meet its other obligations to the people.