Lagos State House of Assembly has granted the request of the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the conversion of the African Development Bank,(AFDB) loan Lekki Concession Company Limited, (LCC) a privately owned organisation, for full ownership by the state government.
The request was received from the Executive arm on Monday, June 21, 2021, and was committed to Committee on Finance to look into the report and make necessary recommendations to the House after its findings.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rotimi Olowo, positioned that upon the buy-out of all the shareholdings interest of the Lekki Concession Company Limited, LCC by the State; Lagos State Government became the subsisting shareholders of LCC with 75% shareholding and the Office of Public-Private Partnerships, shareholding 25% respectively.
He further explained in the report that the original $53.9 million loan obligation from a private sector facility, AFDB had been resolved after series of engagements between AFDB, LCC, and the State Government to convert the loan to a public sector facility with the benefit of a considerable reduction in interest charges of 1.02% of $1.12million bi-annual as against the 4.12% of $2.746million per bi-annual thus giving a savings of $1.16million bi-annual or $3.24milliom per annum.
The House, therefore, granted the Executive the approval to convert the AFDB loan to the public sector loan backed up by sovereign Federal Government guarantee on behalf of the State Government as well as; authorize the State Government to issue a counter-guarantee in favour of the Federal Government along with an irrevocable standing payment order, ISPO to deduct from Lagos State Government statutory allocations.
According to the report, the servicing of the loan obligations would be a maturity till August 2034.
Debating on the report before the initial approval; his counterpart, Gbolahan Yishawu supported that the recommendation, was a smart move as the interest rate would not injure what the State was spending on capital expenditure.
He added that it would also reduce the interest risk as well as the rate by moving the loan from private to public sector.
Another member, Abiodun Tobun who also supported the debate recommended that saving 3.1% in interest rate difference would further reduce the burden on the State Government and encouraged the savings to be used to develop other sectors of the economy.
However, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko to send a clean copy of the resolution of the House to the Governor.