The Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani, on Tuesday, said he should be held liable if the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-rufai fails to utilize the recently approved $350 million World Bank loan for the state on critical infrastructure as promised.
Senator Sani, who represents Kaduna Central in the Upper Chamber, spoke to correspondents in his Office at the National Assembly.
He insisted that persons, especially Senators from Kaduna State who were in the eight Senate who earlier denied Kaduna State the loan, “should be humble enough to admit that they goofed irredeemably.”
Sani said: “Even the worst critics of Governor El Rufai can attest to the fact that he is perhaps one of the most prudent and accountable public office holders in Nigeria today.
“I can vouch for the Kaduna State Government under Mallam Nasir El Rufai to prudently deploy the loan from the World Bank to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of the good people of Kaduna State.
“In fact, hold me responsible if Governor Nasir El Rufai fails or disappoints on this score.
“But, of course, I am very certain and confident that the Governor will fulfil all that he has told the World Bank, the good people of Kaduna State and the National Assembly, that Kaduna State Government will do with the loan.”
It would be recalled that the eight Senate did not approve the $350million external loan for the Kaduna State government.
The eight Senate had argued that the loan, if approved, will erode the economic viability of the State since the State already had a huge debt burden.
Senator Sani said he was at the forefront of efforts to secure the approval of the ninth Senate and indeed the National Assembly for the loan for Kaduna State.
He faulted the position of the Senators from Kaduna State in the eight National Assembly, who opposed the loan.
“They were wrong in their assertion. Having checked the laws, the accounts and the performance of the Kaduna State Government, the World Bank was convinced that Kaduna State merits its support.
“Equally important is the integrity of the Governor of Kaduna State. While considering the request for the loan, the relevant committees in both chambers of the National Assembly factored in the unassailable integrity of Governor Nasir El Rufai, to approve the loan request”, Senator Sani said.
Pursuant to its oversight functions, the National Assembly said it is determined to monitor the disbursements of this loan for the intended projects as spelt out by the Kaduna State Government.
However, Senator Sani said he fully supports the planned monitoring by the National Assembly.
He insisted that he does not nurse any fears or anxiety about the sincerity of the Kaduna State Government under Mallam Nasir El Rufai.
“I have assured my colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives that it is not possible for Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, to fail on the promises of his administration regarding the use or disbursement of the loan from the World Bank.
“I even insist that I, Senator Uba Sani, be held liable if the Governor fails or disappoints. But of course I know Mallam Nasir El Rufai will never fail the people of Kaduna State,” he said.
Senator Sani disclosed that the World Bank and other ratings agencies have adjudged that Kaduna State can sustainably manage the credit which has a 10-year moratorium and a 40-year repayment period.
The Kaduna Central Senator said that once accessed, the loan will be used to build community roads, primary schools, secondary schools, health centres, and generally improve the economy of such benefitting communities.
“Like most Nigerians are already well aware, Mallam Nasir El Rufai has totally reworked Kaduna State.
“The State now boasts of top-notch infrastructures. This loan, once accessed, will enhance the efforts of the Governor in the on-going upgrade of infrastructure in the State.
With the approval of the National Assembly for the loan from the World Bank, better times are coming for Kaduna State,” Senator Sani said.