17 April 2018

Nigeria: $350M Loan - No State'll Access W/Bank Facility If Kaduna Does Not Get - El-Rufai

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said, yesterday, he had been told by the World Bank that no state in the country would access its loan without Kaduna State being considered by the National Assembly.

It would be recalled that the Senate, penultimate week, rejected the loan facility for Kaduna State following objections from the three senators from the state on the ground that Kaduna was already too heavily indebted.

Apart from Kaduna, Abia, Ogun, and Lagos, among others, also applied for various sums from the World Bank for development purposes.

Speaking at the maiden edition of Barnawa branch of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Law Week, yesterday, Governor El Rufai said the World Bank assured him that if Kaduna, which met 90 per cent requirement to access the facility was denied by National Assembly, then no other state would be considered.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Bala Bantex, accused the three senators from the state of playing politics with the issue of development .

He said: "When we applied for the loan, some people brought politics into it; but the World Bank is saying that Kaduna State has met 90 percent of the loan requirement and, therefore, it would not give the loan to any state that applied, if Kaduna State is not given.

"What we are saying is that we should separate politics from the need to develop our state as quickly as possible."

While commending the NBA for the choice of its theme, "Curbing corruption and insecurity in Nigeria: Socio economic, legal and political perspectives," the governor said corruption and insecurity were two major factors that could retard the development of Nigeria.

He said when there was corruption, the economy bleeds just as he added that insecurity on the other hand, could discourage investments.

"For us to tackle this challenges, there must be synergy between the NBA and the government. In Kaduna State, we have made frantic efforts by making law that reduces crimes.

"In the Southern Kaduna axis, we have collaborated with the Federal Government by providing military barracks in the area to reduce insecurity."

Governor el-Rufai called on members of the NBA to join hands with the government in the fight against corruption in order to ensure good governance in the state.

Earlier in her welcome address, chairman of the occasion, who is the Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, Justice Uwani Abba Aji, charged lawyers to get prepared for the task of the 2019 general elections as there would be cases to prosecute and defend.

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