22 September 2017

Nigeria: Senate, W/Bank Meet Over Foreign Loans Utilisation

The Senate and the World Bank met yesterday over proper utilization of foreign loan especially by state governments in the country.

The senators led by the Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) held a closed door meeting with the foreign lenders at the National Assembly.

The foreign loan requests of 10 states are currently being considered by the federal lawmakers.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, the Senate leader said they deliberated with the foreign lenders on the best approach to granting loans to state governments and how to ensure fiscal discipline.

"The National Assembly participates in a limited way in granting states loans from international agencies including the World Bank. Normally the federal government guarantees certain loans to states and therefore the National Assembly scrutinises the programmes and projects that are lined for utilisation of those loans and this is our role.

"But once the loan is granted to states then it comes out of our purview, the state legislators become the overseers of such funds and their utilisation and we have given our honest advice as members of the national assembly specifically the committee chairmen of loans and debt, state and local government, banks and other financial institutions," he said.

He said they suggested to the World Bank how to ensure a reformed state financial environment in which loans taken would be utilised properly.

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