El-Rufai flays senators over rejection of $350m World Bank loan
Says Senators Oppose Loan Due To Frustration, Personal Interest, Insists Nothing Can Stop Its Collection
Following the Senate’s refusal to assent Kaduna State’s request for $350 million World Bank loan, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has lambasted the three Senators from Kaduna, saying they opposed the loan out of personal frustration at the detriment of public interest. He however said that, no amount of blackmail could stop his government from obtaining the loan for the development of the state.
The Senate had on Thursday turned down the request, saying that with the total debt profile of the state, new borrowing will erode economic viability of the state. However, addressing journalists yesterday, El-Rufai said there was still hope of getting the loan from the World Bank.
“The excuse given on the floor of the Senate as to the size of the loan is baseless. The creditor and the ratings agency have adjudged that Kaduna State can sustainably manage the credit, which has a 10-year moratorium and a 40-year repayment period. The State average monthly FAAC allocation for the preceding twelve months is N3.295bn, while our current monthly debt service is N467.12mn. Also, the monthly debt service forecast of the FGN Budget Support Facility of N14.169bn with a moratorium of 18months and World Bank Loan of $350mn with a moratorium of 10years are N191.767mn and N98.843mn respectively. Kaduna State is within the sustainable debt level.
He added that apart from waiting for final leg of decision of the National Assembly, the processes they went through to get the world bank approval was like, “passing through the eyes of the needle”. To this end, he said no amount of intimidation and misrepresentation by lawmakers can dissuade them from accessing the loan. “Apart from this, we did enough sensitization to all the stakeholders, especially members of the National Assembly from Kaduna State about the need for the loan,” he said.
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