Nasir El- Rufai’s $350m World Bank loan rejected by the Senate

Nasir El- Rufai’s $350m World Bank loan rejected by the senate. Kaduna state governor Nasir El- Rufai on Thursday had his $350m loan application to World Bank rejected without recourse by the law makers of the federation.

The senators rejected the loan application on the ground that Kaduna state had an existing debt status of $233.1m and will further plunge the state into economic and financial instability.

All three senators from Kaduna state took turns to reject the application, the senate cemented its decision after accepting recommendations of its committee on Local and Foreign Debt contributions.

Senator Shehu Sani cited that if approved, the state debt stock will rise to $582.1m. The World  Bank facility was captured in 2016 to 2018 borrowing plans as approved by the National Assembly and has attractive low financing data of 1.25 percent interest, in 5 years maturity. Stressing further he said,

“According to the latest Debt Management Office figures, Kaduna State has a total debt stock of $232.1 million,” he said, adding that approving the $350 million loan request would bring the state’s total debt stock to $582.1 million. It would be unsustainable and a huge burden on the state’s finances, the senator, who represents Kaduna central said.

“With the new borrowing, the Debt Service to Revenue Ratio of Kaduna State will further be increased and thus impact negatively on the ability of the state to meet other basic needs of its people. The new debt stock will likely, further erode the economic viability of the State,” he said.

Also, Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC-Kaduna North) said the loan was a misplaced priority and should be rejected. One is amazed to find out what the governor has gone ahead to indicate to the public is completely different from what we found in the application of those facilities.

“I am a representative of my people; for whatever reason the Nigerian law stipulates, this chamber shall moderate to approve for such facility.

“I crave the indulgence of our colleagues that the application of that loan among other things is indeed a misplaced priority as we have clearly seen and hence strongly stand behind the prayer that this chamber do reject the request for the loan.’’

Similarly, Sen. Danjuma La’ah(PDP-Kaduna South) said “I feel the loan is not important and I am a messenger of my people, my constituency.  “My constituency did not give me the authority for a loan to be approved for whatever reason.  “The money received by Kaduna state is much; I cannot understand how there is nothing happening in Kaduna.  “The government is busy retiring people, sacking people, they are asking for money to do what with the loan. This loan should not be granted,” he said.

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