17 April 2018

Nigeria: World Bank Will Not Approve Loan to Other States Without Kaduna - El-Rufai

Kaduna — The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday said the World Bank would not grant the loan requested by other states if Kaduna is not included.

Kaduna had applied for a loan of $350 million for the development of infrastructure, but while the Senate approved those of six other states, it rejected that of Kaduna State on the grounds that it is heavily indebted.

Speaking while declaring opened the 2018 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barnawa branch, Kaduna, El-Rufai said Kaduna met all the conditions for the loan, yet it was rejected by the Senate.

Represented by his deputy, Barnabas Bala Bantex, the governor alleged that the rejection of the loan by the Senate had a political undertone.

Commenting further on the issue in an interview with journalists, the governor said the World Bank is faced with a moral issue to grant the loan to other states without Kaduna, which according to him, is most qualified for the loan.

"The World Bank are bugged with a moral issue. How do we deal with not approving or not giving out a loan for which a state government is fully qualified and approve to others, who I wouldn't say are less qualified. That is the moral issue facing the World Bank," he said.

Earlier in his address at the occasion with the theme: 'Curbing corruption and insecurity in Nigeria: Legal and political perspectives,' the governor noted the role of the NBA in the struggle for the improvement of socioeconomic situation of the country.

He said insecurity and corruption are the main challenges facing Nigeria and called on the NBA to collaborate with the government to address the menace.

"Insecurity and corruption are the major setback to any country. When there is corruption, it ruins the economy and retards development. Insecurity discourages foreign investors.

"For us to tackle these, there must be a synergy with stakeholders like the NBA and the judiciary... ," he said.

El-Rufai said the state on its part, took steps to reduce corruption as the first state to introduce the Treasury Single Account (TSA), adding that the government also evolved a procurement system that blocks all avenues for corrupt practices.

He said his administration has invested a lot in the security sector by rejigging the state own security outfit, "Operation Yaki" by empowering in the last three years with vehicles and other crime fighting equipment to fight crime.

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