Kaduna seeks Senate nod to access $350m World Bank loan

The Kaduna State House of Assembly said on Tuesday it had sought the support and approval of the Senate to enable the state government to access $350m loan.

The Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Alhaji Bello Sani-Gimi, said, “Last week, during a retreat to discuss the 2018 Budget, the state governor told us that the loan, being sought by Kaduna State from the World Bank, was subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

“That we should assist in any way possible to see the actualisation of that loan. After the retreat, some of us met him and asked if we could go to the extent of meeting these people.

“He said why not, in fact, he is ready to do anything to see that the loan is actualized. After the meeting, the speaker set up a committee to meet the senators.”

According to him, Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna Central) happens to be the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Domestic Debts.

In view of this, Sani-Gimi said Sen. Sani was supposed to be the first person to be met by the committee.

“Therefore, the committee went and met him; it was a fruitful discussion. He gave his words that he is not against the loan and he is not against reconciliation.

“But we should do a lot of homework by bringing everybody on board, while in his own part, he is ready to cooperate so that Kaduna State will excel.

“After the meeting, the committee came back and briefed the speaker and the house,” he said.

Sani-Gimi said another committee was set up to see Sen. Danjuma Laa (PDP-Southern Kaduna), saying that the discussion went the same way with that of Sen. Sani.

The lawmaker added that the committee also went to Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC-Northern Kaduna), who assured of readiness to make a positive input to actualise the loan.

“As you know, Sen. Hunkuyi is a vocal person and he has opened up; we intended to stay for just 30 minutes but we ended up spending more than three hours with him.

“We discussed a lot of issues that had to do with the state, his issues with government and so many other things.

“Finally, he told us that he is also ready for reconciliation and promised that they are going to look at the loan issue and see to the possibility of accessing it,” he said.

Sani-Gimi said during the visits, some of them raised issues that the year was coming to an end and why seeking such huge amount as loan now.

He said being the chairman of the finance committee in the house, he was able to explain to them issues they didn’t understand before.

“In Kaduna State, we are running a medium-term framework budget, which is about four years budget, 2016 to 2020.

“So, we are talking about breaking this amount to run through these four years; we are not talking about collecting this loan and spend it this year, 2017.

“My explanation cleared some misconceptions about the loan and they were all convinced with the explanation,” he said. – NAN.

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