Kaduna senators stop El-Rufai’s $350 million loan request
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Kaduna senators stop El-Rufai’s $350 million loan request

The National Assembly on Thursday rejected a $350 million loan request made for Kaduna State by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

The rejection followed a stiff opposition by the three senators from the state – Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central),  Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North) and Danjuma Lai (Kaduna South).

In their different contributions to the debate at plenary over whether or not the loan should be approved, the senators said the request could not be justified.

According to them, it would rather add to the debt burden of the state than make life better for its people.

Presenting the report of his committee over the loan request, Shehu Sani who heads the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts said, “If this loan request is approved, the new total debt stock of USD582.1 million for Kaduna State will be unsustainable and necessarily attract huge financial burden on the meagre federal allocation to the state.”

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He argued that with the new loan, the debt service to revenue ratio of Kaduna State would further be increased and thus impact negatively on the ability of the state to meet other basic needs of its people.

On his part, Suleiman Hukunyi, also opposing the approval said the application of the loan was a misplaced priority.

“I strongly stand behind the prayers of the chairman of the committee that this very important chamber do reject that request for the loan,” he said.

He added that “what the governor has gone ahead to indicate to the general public is completely different from what we found on the application of the facilities as indicated in the detailed drawdown table.”

Danjuma Laah spoke in the same vein.

He said the state had received similar loans in the past without anything to show for it.

“I met with the representatives of Kaduna State and asked what the loan was all about? What projects is this loan meant for? I should know from zone one, two and three who are the contractors responsible for the project? Where will the projects be sighted? But these questions were not answered,” he said.

Following the arguments, the Senate rejected the loan when put to a voice vote.

The session was chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

It would be recalled that the senators and the governor have been deeply involved in a crisis which has led to the division of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.