The Senate Thursday rejected approval of $350 million Kaduna State Development Policy Operation Credit Facility for not meeting the minimum standards.
The rejection followed a recommendation by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts headed by Senator Shehu Sani.
In his report, Sani explained that Kaduna state was already indebted to the tune of $232 million, noting that approval of $350million would rise the debt profile of the state to $582 million, a situation he posited would be unsustainable for the state.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, based on my interaction with government officials of Kaduna state, the sum of $350 was approved for the state by the World Bank.”
“The facility was captured in 2014/2015 medium term with a maturity period of 25 years.”
Sani urged the Senate to turn down the approval, saying if approved, Kaduna state will be the second highest debtor among the 36 states of the federation.
Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi representing Kaduna North senatorial district emphasised that the loan request failed to address key issues that would have aided its approval.
He said it was unfortunate that the governor only asked his Commissioner for Women Affairs and other Special Assistants to approve the loan at the State Executive Committee meeting, adding that it fell short of 18 key government officials as required by the World Bank.
Speaking further, he said: “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, the loan request by Kaduna state government has not addressed key issues such as stimulating internally generated revenue, employment. I urge the Senate to reject the request in line with recommendation of the report”.
Senator Danjuma Lar representing Kaduna South Senatorial district, while expressing his objection, stated that his constituents have advised him against the loan.
In his contribution, Senate Deputy leader, Bala Ibn’Nallah urged loan seekers from World Bank to learn lessons, stressing that the taking loan on behalf of the people was too critical to be handled carelessly.
Presiding, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu sustained the rejection having put the motion to votes.