Kaduna: Senator cautions Buhari, World Bank on rejected $350m loan

OrderPaperToday – Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna) has issued a stern warning to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance, asking them to refrain from bypassing the already-rejected loan request for Kaduna State by the Senate.

The request was presented and refused at the Senate, today, with Senators citing reasons of increased debt stock if the loan is approved.

Addressing the Press, Sani said: “The Debt Management Act stated clearly that any application for loan by a State must be submitted by the presidency to the National Assembly.

“Both the Senate and the House of Representatives must approve. Any other approval is void. So let me use this opportunity to call on the President as a strict man to the law as he has demonstrated with what happened in the APC by evacuating the so-called extension.”

He continued: “So he must stand very firm. Any attempt by anybody to circumvent the National Assembly and collect money from the World Bank will be contrary to the law.

“I am using this opportunity to call on the President and the World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance to know that the Senate has rejected the $350m loan request.”

Also speaking with journalists was Senator Suleiman Hukunyi, who highlighted the requirements the State did not meet which led to the disapproval.

He said: “The Senate has considered that report and fairly done justice to it. That request did not pass the minimum litmus test required of a demand for a people, by a State.

“The development of critical infrastructural requirement in the State to help boost economic activities, the IGR potential of the state lifted and Employment generation fund.”

According to Hunkuyi, Kaduna State is the only State in the history of the Labour Union in Nigeria to dismiss over 40,000 workers in 2 months.

Also, “the beneficiary agencies are all under the Office of the Governor.”

He indicated that the loan is to be drawn over a period of four to five years, however, “when we got the documents of draw down and application of the loan, $170million of the $350 is to be drawn within the scope of one year; that is 2018. Why the rush? Why the hurry?”

He added: “Of all the eleven sections spread for draw down of the $350m, not a single section indicated practical application for funding of critical infrastructure. Lot of insinuations have been made but we stand firm, clear in our conscience with the interest of the people.”

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