The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State threatened to alert the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to Governor Seriake Dickson’s alleged plan to divert a N45 billion loan for the Bayelsa State airport project to his reelection campaign.
The Bayelsa State airport project is among the flagship projects of the Dickson administration according to Dan Kikile, the chairman of Governor Dickson’s media team.
According to Nathan Egba, the Director of Publicity for the gubernatorial campaigns of Timipre Sylva and Elder Wilberforce Agiri, the Bayelsa State House Assembly originally approved a loan of N12.5 billion for the airport project. However, the PDP is now attempting to procure N45 billion.
Mr. Egba directed attention to the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) efforts to manipulate the original terms of the loan. He explained that when the loan was negotiated, it was stipulated that the funds would not be released until the presentation of a milestone certificate. However, due to the commencement of the rainy season the site for the airport is now flooded. Therefore, no presentation of a milestone certification can take place.
According to Mr. Egba, the PDP is attempting to remove the stipulation requiring the presentation of a milestone certification. He explained that, “this now gives them [the PDP] the ability to freely draw from the loan unhindered, as they can claim the monies will be used to pay the contractor. However these funds will instead be used to kick start their campaign, which has faltered due to a lack of money caused by Governor Dickson’s inability to effectively manage Bayelsa State’s finances.”
Mr. Egba warned that the APC has alerted the operatives of the EFCC and are monitoring the situation as it unfolds.
However, Mr. Kikile has denied these claims and insists that the re-election campaign of Governor Dickson is already well financed. He also touched upon the APC’s comments regarding the Bayelsa State airport project, “the airport project is over 60 percent completed, we are asking the APC to focus on their campaigns.”