Senate, Wednesday directed its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to investigate the alleged plan by the Kogi State government to borrow the sum of $500 million (about N180 billion) from the United Arab Emirates, UAE.
The Senate’s directive was sequel to a motion raised via Orders 42 and 52 of its standing rules by Senator Dino Melaye, PDP-Kogi West, who also alleged that the loan was meant to fund the Kogi State and Presidential elections in 2019 by Governor Yahaya Bello administration.
According to Senator Melaye, the loan has been christened Loan of Debt Refinancing to avoid the state government from approaching the National Assembly for approval.
The lawmaker further lamented that state is already indebted to the sum of N40 billion and expressed concern that the state government was planning to borrow another whopping N180 billion.
“What it means is that the government is borrowing to pay borrowed money”, Senator Melaye stressed.
In his contribution, Senator Ali Atai Aidoko, PDP-Kogi East, said that it was unacceptable for the people of the state to accept an illegal borrowing.
Senator Aidoko added that it is also unacceptable for the Senate to allow the alleged borrowing without approval of the upper legislative chamber of National Assembly.
He pointed out that there are no capital projects going on in the state in addition to unpaid salaries that are still being owed by the Bello administration.
The lawmaker, who also lamented the state of infrastructure and welfare of the people, maintained that “Kogi State cannot sustain this loan”.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, assigned the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts to investigate and establish, if the loan has been taken or there’s any plan to obtain it by the state government.
Saraki also told the Committee to establish the approach being used to access the loan.
Consequently, he gave the committee 48 hours or five days maximum to report its findings to the Senate.