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FEC guarantees $400m loan for Lagos, others



Okays nine new private varsities

THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Wednesday guaranteed loans totalling over $400 million for Lagos, Rivers, Osun and Ogun towards implementing infrastructure projects in the states.‎

  It said the loans that are all going to states controlled ‎by the opposition All Progressi‎ves Congress (APC) on the eve of the general elections, should not at all be seen as Greek gifts meant to sway votes.

  Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting, said ‎ the approvals for the loans for mainly opposition APC states demonstrated President Goodluck Jonathan’s non-partisan approach to governance.

  According to him, the President would not diminish his office with tribal or political sentiments, and he remained desirous of bringing development to all parts of Nigeria, ‎no matter who resides there or which political party runs the state.

  Yuguda said the President has therefore not barred any minister from facilitating or assisting any state government in the processing of any development loans‎, which is why the latest credit facilities to these states were brought to FEC for deliberations and approval.

His words:‎ “Like we have been saying over and over again and like Mr. President is saying over and over again, he is the President of Nigerians.  There is a distinction between governance and politics and Mr. President does not bring issues where they are not supposed to be situated.

  “Now, if we are improving the lives of the people of Port Harcourt or Lagos, these are Nigerians. So President is the President of Nigeria. He will not trivialize his office by neglecting one part of Nigeria because they don’t belong to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). That is not President Goodluck Jonathan.”

  On whether the government was not piling up debts for future generations, he replied: “Our debt ratio to service is two per cent. Our loans problem are from our domestic loans collected by states not international loans by the Federal Government. All the loans approved today are domestic loans and note that all the projects the loans are to be used for are to generate revenues so they will pay back the loans.”

 Also, FEC yesterday gave its nod for the establishment on nine new private universities in the country. 

  In a media briefing after the meeting, the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau listed the new universities as Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Orode, Delta State; Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos State; Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State; Hallmark University, Ijebu Itele, Ogun State; and Kings University, Ode Omu, Osun State. 

 Others included Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Summit University, Offa, Kwara State.

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