Mbabane: Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg has tabled a loan bill for securing funds for the construction of the new Eswatini Parliament building.
Rijkenberg tabled the bill on Monday in the house of Assembly with an objective to get an authorization of the august house to raise a loan not exceeding E1.624 billion ($108 280 000) from the Export-Import Bank of India to finance the construction of a new Parliament building project and to provide for other incidental matters.
The bill is still yet to be debated and adopted by the house.
Once the bill has been adopted, it will kick start the preparations for the construction of the new Parliament building to be constructed along the new Lozitha – Ludzidzini road.
The minister is authorised to enter into an agreement with the lender and the borrower shall repay the loan in 40 consecutive semi-annual equal instalments after a grace period of five years which shall be calculated from the date of the first advance.
The borrower shall repay the lender an interest of 1.75 per cent per annum on each advance or as the case may be, the outstanding amount of the credit.
Eswatini government, being the borrower, shall also pay the lender a one time management fee at the rate of 0.50 per cent on the amount of the eligible value of each eligible contract on the interest payment date following the date of approval of the eligible contract by the bank.
The borrower shall further pay a commitment fee at the rate of 0.50 per cent per annum on the amount of credit remaining undrawn of each eligible contract.The minister further tabled two more loan bills with the second bill amounting to E300 million ($20 million) from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development to finance the Eswatini Health Systems Strength for human capital development project.
The third loan bill amounting to E600million ($40 million) is to be sourced from the World Bank to finance the Eswatini economic recovery development policy financing.
Meanwhile, the government also seeks another loan of E170 million for the construction of a Disaster Recovery site (DRS) which will be housed at KaLanga in Siteki.
This is contained in the report that was tabled by the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Manzini South Member of Parliament Thandi Nxumalo on Monday.
According to the report the site will assist the National Data Centre (NDC), which is under the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP).
The loan is expected to be secured from the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank India).
During the construction of the site about 200 jobs will be created and during the operations 150 people are expected to be hired permanently, while 20 to 30 will be hired temporarily mainly on research activities on new technologies.
Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg said the NDC had been conceptualised to be a Tier-three data centre with full consideration of confidentiality, integrity and availability of all its ICT resources.