Three Kaduna senators block $350m loan request of el-Rufai’s govt


The senate rejected a $350 million loan request by the Kaduna state government, following a stiff opposition by the three senators from Kaduna state.

Shehu Sani, chairman of the committee on local and foreign debt, had earlier presented a report for consideration.

Sani, who represents Kaduna central, said if the request is granted, Kaduna’s debt stock will rise to $582.1 million.

“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,” the senator 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 the loan would further erode the economic viability of the state.

On his part, Sulieman Hukunyi, senator representing Kaduna north, said the application of the loan was a misplaced priority.

“Mr President, one is amazed, perplexed and in shock to find 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,” Hukunyi said.

“As a representative of my people, I’ll like to say that the application of that loan is 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.”

Also contributing to the debate, Danjuma Laah, senator representing Kaduna south, said the state had received huge amounts of funds but there is nothing to show for it.

“The loan is not important as far as I am concerned. As a messenger of my people, they did not give me the authority for a loan to be approved,” Laah said.

“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.”

Thereafter, the senate adopted the committee’s recommendation to reject the loan request after it was put to a voice vote by Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president.
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